Following unending attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, no less than four Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno State are currently ‘completely inaccessible’ for humanitarian assistance, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has said.
This is coming at a time the Nigerian military declared as fake news, the report that a faction of Boko Haram, Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), attacked and captured Marte LGA in the state.
But UNICEF in its report entitled “Situation overview and humanitarian needs’, listed Marte, Abadam, Guzamala, and Kukawa as the four areas completely inaccessible owing to terrorist attacks.
The report said, “The security situation remains volatile, with a significant impact on humanitarian access. Four LGAs remain completely inaccessible – Abadam, Guzamala, Kukawa, and Marte – to humanitarian actors while access to Kala Balge LGA (Rann) remains severely constrained.
“UNICEF has only been able to conduct a limited number of day trips to Rann – Kala Balge LGA, where the nutritional situation of children appears to be deteriorating.
“A rapid MUAC -Middle Upper Arm Circumference- screening of children under five by community mobilisers revealed that 263 out of 460 children screened were suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). UNICEF is planning to provide treatment for both severe and acute malnutrition using extended criteria. Acute needs have also been identified by other sectors, including wash, shelter/NFI and food security.
“Many other LGAs are only partially accessible, and the number of armed clashes and attacks remains consistently high across the state. A marked deterioration in road security has further increased humanitarian actors’ reliance on UNHAS helicopters to reach many locations, including Monguno, where there are significant humanitarian needs following the arrival of nearly 15,000 newly displaced.”
On when the situation is likely to improve the report said: “Humanitarian actors consider it unlikely that the security situation in the majority of LGAs of Borno State will allow for any population return in the near future, either of IDPs or refugees. The urgency of overcrowding and congestion of camps is rising as the rainy season approaches, particularly in Maiduguri and Monguno where more than 20,000 people are still sleeping under open skies”.