Read his account:
"It may be the rainy season, but the savannah scrubland stretching out below me is dusty, dry and brown, linked by a spider’s web of dirt tracks and footpaths.
"I’m in a plane descending toward the Maiduguri International Airport and squint to focus on the hamlets dotted across the landscape, It’s my third visit here and once again I can’t see many natural water bodies, which gives me a familiar uncomfortable feeling. How do people survive in this harsh climate?” I wonder. I remind myself to stay hydrated.
"Touch down in Maiduguri and the light is blindingly bright. The air hits you in the face like a hairdryer on its hottest setting. I’ve come here to report on the latest calamity to befall the capital of Borno state.
"AFP has covered the insurgency since it began: the horrific and relentless attacks on mosques, churches, markets and bus stations, suicide bombings and raids on remote villages. In the last 18 months the Nigerian military, helped by its neighbors, has reclaimed territory from the insurgents, apparently weakening the radical group to the point of "technical" defeat.
"But this doesn't mean the people living here are doing any better.
"In recent weeks another shocking dimension of the conflict has emerged: severe food shortages have meant that hundreds of people -- in particular children -- are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
"Before going to a place like Muna, I always try to figure out the best way to portray the situation in the most honest way I can, while still maintaining the humanity in the subjects.
"It is never easy to witness suffering and be practically powerless to affect change, to do anything about the people’s immediate circumstances. It’s challenging because you need to retain respect for your subjects, which in this case entails focusing a lens on them and capturing that moment in time. I believe part of that respect comes with sensitivity towards the different realities that you are presented with.
Photo credit: Stefan Heunis
Source: Read the full original post on AFPblogs written by Yana Dlugy: https://correspondent.afp.com/node/3443