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Niger: Looking for a Safe Place to Live in Diffa

30 March 2016

Assaga is a village divided in two by the Komadougou River. There is one Assaga in Nigeria and another one in Niger. Eight months ago, Boko Haram attacked the Nigerian Assaga and people fled to the RN1 road in Niger. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for MSF

Rambo Daoua, 22, takes her one-year-old daughter, who has diarrhea and conjunctivitis, to the health center in Ngaroua. After being driven from her home by Boko Haram attacks two months ago, Rambo now lives in a shelter made of straw, feeds her daughter only breast milk, and does not have enough clothes to keep warm. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for MSF

Khadija Yana, 35, who lives with her eight children on a parcel of land shared with 20 other people outside Ngaroua, takes her ill 10-month-old daughter to a health clinic. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for MSF

Al Hadji Boucar Modu, 40, left his village in Nigeria after a Boko Haram attack 18 months ago. He took refuge in various towns, but had to flee again due to multiple attacks. He now lives in a camp near Baroua. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for MSF

The Baroua camp, a few miles from the shore of Lake Chad, is home to 10,000 refugees, returnees, and internally displaced people, all of whom are dependent on humanitarian aid and wish to return to their villages if security can be established. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for MSF

MSF is supporting several health centers in the districts of Diffa, Nguigmi, and Bosso, as well as the main maternal and child center in the city of Diffa and the Nguigmi district hospital. MSF is also providing medical care in the camp of Assaga and the site of Yebi, on the outskirts of Bosso. Photo: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos for MSF

Since February 2015, the region of Diffa, in Niger, has become the target of attacks by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), also known as Boko Haram. The continuous violence has caused an exodus of more than 300,000 people. 

For months, the displaced population has settled around main cities and villages of Diffa, Nguigmi, and Bosso districts, as well as in makeshift camps along the RN1 road that connects Diffa with Niamey, the capital of Niger. They are living in very precarious conditions. The majority are fishermen or farmers but, for security reasons, the Niger authorities have banned their access to the banks of the Komadougou river, where they carried out all their activity. 

In this context, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is working to support several health centers in the region, as well as the main maternal and child center in the city of Diffa and the Nguigmi district hospital. MSF is also providing medical care in several displacement camps and sites.