internally displaced people

Innovation: Using design to help people stay safe in Nigeria

For the displaced people in camps scattered across northeast Nigeria, protection often ends at the compound gate. Armed groups operate in these areas, waiting to attack the vulnerable when they leave the camp to search for firewood to cook with. Michael Githinji, who describes himself as a “maker”, recently visited Pulka camp to see if he could find a design solution to their problems.

Mobile midwife

Fighting broke out in Jamam, Maban county of South Sudan, in early January causing thousands of people to flee their homes. Approximately 2,500-3,000 people had taken refuge in the Kaya area of Maban.

MSF and other actors responded quickly by organising and distributing mosquito nets, blankets, plastic sheeting and some basic cooking utensils. Following this our logisticians fed back that they were concerned re: the number of people there, and that many appeared unwell or heavily pregnant.

"We need dry land"

By the gate, an old lady lies down in the mud, defeated. Skeleton thin she is wearing a threadbare cotton dress. She has no shoes. She digs in the soil with her scarred hands, so thin you can see her bones. She slowly brings the mud up to her mouth, and eats it.

This lady and the indignity of her situation will be etched in my memory forever.