Hunted by armies from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram has expanded its reach to neighboring countries.
After brutally killing nearly 6.000 people in 2014, its members are hiding on the hundreds of small and inaccessible islands scattered on Lake Chad, the fourth-largest African basin already threatened by the serious and ongoing process of desertification.
Here, in Chad, which is one of the poorest areas of the region, the Boko Haram extremist fighters have started to attack villages, burning down houses and killing dozens of people, jeopardizing the lives of communities already devastated by hunger, malnutrition and the trade embargo with Nigeria.
In recent months nearly 20,000 refugees and displaced fleeing from Northern Nigeria and the islands on the lake have arrived in this part of Chad , seeking shelter on the banks of Lake Chad , near the village of Bagasola. A refugee camp, called Dar Es Salam, has been put in place but the living conditions for the thousands of Nigerian refugees are extreme, with food shortages, the spread of disease and an unbearable climate often reaching 50° Celsius with strong winds and sandstorms.
For UNCHR the operations in the region are the least funded in the world, with only 6.,8 million dollars collected out of the 71 million dollars needed to provide humanitarian aid to the increasing numbers of refugees and displaced people fleeing to the region from the attacks of Boko Haram.