LIFE IN DESTITUTE CAMPS
Focus: Okobaba Ebute Metta, Lagos
On Morning Crossfire today, Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri take a look at another angle of women stories. This is contributed by a female journalist, Funke Fayemi who works with Voice of Nigeria. What prompted her to embark on this project?
“Every time I’m going to work, I notice girls standing by the side of the bridge. Some of them are physically challenged, some are not. So when the opportunity came for me as one of the people working with Wole Soyinka Centre for Journalism reporters’ leadership fellowship, one thing that came to my mind was to go to one place on the Island and see how girls live. But later, I told myself that I see girls along the streets begging, some holding their parents, while some don’t. Where do they come from?
“I found out that there’s a camp in Lagos called Destitute Camp Okobaba. I went there and saw a lot of people. I asked myself; how do these girls manage to survive? What kind of lifestyles do they have? What is the health implication of what I saw on ground? Do these girls know how to take informed decisions on how to live a better life? Are they also going to be beggars like their parents? So I pitched the story and went to the camp.
“Before I could find a way to speak with the people it was hard. I found out that they had leaders and these people were divided into three groups of cripple, lepers, and the blind. I spoke with all of them. The girls ran to me because they thought I brought food. They told me that they would not speak with me because I didn’t bring food. So I bought things for them to get what I want.
“The place was built in 1990 by the military governor of Lagos state at that time, Gen. Marwa and it was built to house 300 people. In 2017 when I did the report, I found over 10 thousand people living there. When I went to Lagos Mainland Local Government to speak with the chairperson, Mrs. Omolola Essien, I found out that 47 percent of the people living there at that time were females. 12 percent of them were between the ages of 15 and 49. This means that there are more of women of child bearing age inside this camp. I found out that it wasn’t fair on the girls. Those young girls back their babies, carry them around, while their mothers may be cooking, or gone out to beg for alms.”
Wemimo starts by referring to statistics claiming that the country with the highest number of destitute homes is Nigeria. It is said that about 56.7 million people live in destitute homes across the country. This simply means that about 35.6 percent of Nigerians fall into this category.
According to Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, over 90 percent of destitute people live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Research findings claims that while India said it has home to 348 million destitute people, Nigeria has approximately, 56 million destitute people. Ethiopia has 72 million destitute people as citizens.
Why do we have destitute homes?
Today’s show is in partnership with the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism as other Friday shows have been for a few weeks now.
Along with the participants in the studio of Nigeria Info FM 99.3, Ijeoma Esek adds to the conversation standing by from Okobaba, Ebute Metta.
Watch the following video. Get a glimpse into how life is in Okobaba, Ebute Metta and add your comments below.
According to research, India serves as a home to 348 million destitute, Nigeria houses approsimately 57 million destitute. Ethiopia statistically has 72 million destitute as citizens.
Over 90% of destitute people live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan says Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
Statistics reveals that the country with the highest number of destitute people in Africa is Nigeria. About 56.7 million destitute people live in various parts of the country. About 35.6% of Nigerians fall into the destitute category
Mrs Favour Benson - Executive Director, Jashabel Touch-A- Heart Fondation @JTahf
Oluwatoyin Jayeola - Director Rehabilitation and Rescue Lagos
Funke Fayemi - Journalist at @voiceofnigeria / Member at @WSoyinkaCentre @ReportWomen
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry),
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka