, KANO, Nigeria, Apr 10 – At least 14 people sustained burns in a fresh outbreak of fires at a camp housing tens of thousands of people displaced by Boko Haram jihadists in northeast Nigeria, according to an aid agency.
The outbreak comes just two weeks after a blaze at the camp, located at Rann, about 175 kilometres (108 miles) east of the Borno state capital Maiduguri, killed five people.
“There have been three separate fires reported,” stated a memo seen by AFP from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) circulated among international aid agencies in Maiduguri.
The incidents, which occurred over a number of days, resulted in “reported 14 injuries (and) estimates that over 1,000 shelters have been burned,” said the memo, which blamed flying embers from “cooking of food”.
Kaka Ari, a civilian militia member assisting the military in fighting Boko Haram in the town said fires had ruined hundreds of tents. The camp shelters refugees as well as internally-displaced people.
“For three consecutive days we recorded fire outbreaks in different parts of the camp which destroyed more than a thousand,” Ari said.
“People cook in the open and the breeze carries firewood splinters in all directions which end up at the tents and fire breaks out,” Ari said.
Last month five people were killed and several others injured when a fire broke out in the camp while residents were making breakfast.
Rann, where nearly 80,000 people are living and supported with humanitarian assistance from international aid agencies, has been vulnerable to attacks from Boko Haram.
On March 1 heavily-armed Boko Haram fighters killed three aid workers and abducted a female nurse, prompting aid agencies to suspend their operations.
In January 2017, a botched Nigerian airstrike intended to hit jihadist fighters killed at least 112 people in what the military said was a mistake and blamed on “the fog of war”.