Climate change drowns refugee camps in Nigeria


View of an area affected by flood with rainwater at the IDP camp in Markurdi, Benue. Photo: Agbaje Ayomide


In 2020, 65-year-old Esther Iornongu, a widow, arrived at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Makurdi, located in Benue, North Central Nigeria. Whenever rain falls at the overcrowded Tse-yandev camp, everyone rushes to get their belongings before the flooding starts, she says.


Iornongu had to leave her life as a farmer, as a result of the Fulani crisis — a communal conflict between herders and farmers going on since 1999. Her life has never been the same again ever since she says. At the camp she was brought to, frequent flash floods are a constant threat of loss and destruction of the only things she has left.


“Most times, before I start packing my household items, clothes and foodstuffs, they already get wet or the flood takes them away. I am not with my family here and this situation makes me dependent,” added the refugee, as she recounts her experience while speaking with Climate Tracker.

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