One meal a day: the Lake Chad crisis in scenes

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The extreme north of Cameroon is suffering a food shortage exacerbated by climate change and conflict with Boko Haram

Ramata Modou, 58, holds a photograph of herself. Ramata is community leader at an internal displacementcamp for women and children in Mm

When armed humen entered Ramatas village her husband suffered a heart attack and died. Her 17 -year-old daughter was kidnapped, her three-month-old daughter strapped to her back. When she first fled to Mm she slept under trees for two months with her six children.

She now lives in a camp for internally displaced women and children. All the women here have lost the men in their lives husbands, parents, brothers, sons to the conflict. They constructed their own makeshift homes from sticks and thatch. There is a water pump but no sanitation.

Ramata holds her half-eaten lunch of ground red maize, white rice and crushed mango foliages. It is the only meal she and her children will eat today. The food was gathered by running house to house in the village to beg.

Leaving my village was very difficult. We used to own cattle and sheep, but we had to leave all of those things behind. We had no choice, we had to leave. Even the roofs of the houses have now been stolen.

People have fled violence in their village, often in the middle of night, leaving with nothing, sometimes not even their shoes. Those who arrive in Mm are forced to rely on the kindness of new neighbours to provide clothes and food. Most families arrive with nothing, and even a battered spoonful is a gift to be treasured.

Aminas Remains of the daily dinner for seven – ground red maize, white rice and crushed mango leaves. This plate is the half-eaten lunch of Ramata Modou, 58, and their own families This battered spoonful belongs to 20 year-old Amina, a young pregnant mother of two
A plate of ground red maize, surrounded by a green sauce made from mango leaves A stick of red maize Tomatoes – a luxury in Mm, costing 160 CFA( 21 p) for three at Mm market A cracked bowl of food, containing a few grains of rice and some beans the last few morsels of a lunch Niebe( black-eyed) beans. Procured in the cracking of a wall at Alis home on the outskirts of Maroua
A bowl of fish bones for flavor. When you only eat one meal day, people look for anything to add flavour. A bowl of fish bones is all that remains of this snack. These small, brittle, dried fish are used to season bland staple foods, such as maize. These fish have almost no meat on their bones This woven bowl contains maize straws. Food is so scarce here that even the chaff of maize is saved and eaten
A piece of charred firewood. Firewood is an important commodity here. Not only is it are applied to cook, but people forage for timber in the bush and sell it in the village to earn money to buy food

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