Boko Haram violence in Nigeria has displaced 7 million people, forcing families to flee to neighbouring Niger and Cameroon.  For the last two years, ShelterBox has been working with IEDA Relief to provide aid to Nigerian refugee families in Cameroon, and others who have been displaced due to conflict within the country. 

Due to the incredible generosity of our supporters, ShelterBox has been able to provide emergency shelter to 2,365 households at the Minawao Camp in the Northern most region of Cameroon. ShelterBox continues to provide standard relief tents, blankets, ground covers and solar lights to families in need.

The impact of providing ShelterBox aid to families has extended further than just emergency shelter provision. This aid allows children to study at night, reduces the instances of sexual gender-based violence, gives privacy, helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases, and provides protection and preservation of the family unit. Before ShelterBox tents arrived in the camp, families were separated by gender and made to sleep in overcrowded community centers.

Approximately 100 people are arriving everyday to Minawao camp, seeking refuge from the violence at home. After registering, they are given a ShelterBox tent and supplies. With the average refugee camp stay now estimated to be 16 years, ShelterBox and IEDA are working to provide more permanent housing to those at Minawao Camp.

Through our partnership, we are training people in the camp and in the local area to build bricks, and construct shelters. This creates jobs while providing high quality, locally appropriate shelter. So far 750 of 1850 shelters have been built.

The homes are constructed with clay bricks, a frame made of wood and a roof made of tarpaulins and straw. Ninety-seven masons and 125 bricklayers have been trained to aid in the construction of these homes. The integration of using local materials with aid that ShelterBox and IEDA are providing, combined with training workers in the camp encourages employment and boosts the local economy.

At ShelterBox, we know shelter is more than just a roof over one’s head – shelter is one of the first steps to recovery. In a long-term camp situation like this, we have had to adapt our standard aid to ensure we can continue to provide the best shelter option for our beneficiaries.

Along with our work in Cameroon, ShelterBox has worked with Plan International in Niger to distribute ShelterBoxes in the Diffa region for people displaced by Boko Haram violence. Planning is underway to provide more durable shelters for refugees and IDPs in Niger, as well.

Beneficiary with newly constructed permanent housing in Cameroon