Thematic Report – 31 July 2017 - Nigeria: Humanitarian Needs of Returnees from Cameroon, Chad & Niger
The return of refugees from Cameroon, Niger, and Chad has put increased pressure on the already existing displacement situation in Banki, Gamboru, Ngala, Damasak, and Pulka. Between January and June 2017, 35,000 Nigerians have returned to Banki, in Bama LGA from Cameroon. More than 4,500 of the returnees have been relocated to Pulka in Gwoza LGA (UNHCR 11/07/2017). As of April 10, the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS) had registered 119,061 returnees from Niger and 339 from Chad (UNHCR 30/04/2017).
Ongoing military operations within local government areas (LGAs) and villages mean the refugees are unable to return home. They thus remain displaced within the headquarters of the LGA or are relocated to a military designated safe zone – a situation that could become protracted.
Living in organized camps, makeshift settlements, schools, hospitals, and host communities as their homes are not yet safe to return to, the returning refugees lack access to food, livelihood opportunities, shelter, WASH, healthcare, and other essential services.
Food: At least 289,000 people are expected to be affected by severe food insecurity in these flood-prone locations. Most returnees are dependent on food distributions that are irregular and insufficient.
WASH: Many returnees live on less than 5L of water per day. Available latrines and bathing facilities are insufficient to meet the needs of IDPs and returnees.
Health: Unavailability of health services has resulted in the deaths of several returnees from common diseases like malaria, pneumonia, and acute watery diarrhoea. Over 300 cases of hepatitis E have been reported in Ngala.