TOP 30 photos that perfectly tell the heartbreaking stories of those living under Boko Haram

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Those who live under Boko Haram live in fear and gruelling uncertainty. When their homes are razed down, they flee to camps, where their everyday meals come as rations from charities, and from where they might have to flee again.

They crave to return to rebuild their homes despite being left with nothing. It’s a shame they can no longer feed from their toils, but at some point they might have accepted the fact that their barns and livestock are gone, and their oppressors might still be lurking in the hood.

This is not the life they planned for themselves. This is a life they have been forced to live.

Getty Images presents the most telling photos of life under Boko Haram. Be warned that some may be downright devastating!


Nothing left for us.

Children fleeing from Boko Haram Islamists walk past burnt houses carrying their belongings at Mairi village in the outskirts of Maiduguri capital of Borno State, February 6, 2016.


Doesn’t look like a party.

Women and children eat at a military base after being rescued from Boko Haram camps in Maiduguri, Borno State, July 30, 2015.


Perfect escape.

A malnourished child sleeps on a mat at Malkohi refugee camp in Yola, May 5, 2015.


Not prepared for this.

Two malnourished children sit together at Malkohi refugee camp in Yola, on May 5, 2015.


War away from the war fronts.

Children fleeing from Boko Haram attacks scramble for food at Gudumariya Refugees Camp, Diffa in Niger Republic, on March 13, 2015.


Mass-burying the dead.

A grave-digger heaps sand on graves where victims of Boko Haram attacks are buried at Gwange Cemetery in Maiduguri, February 2, 2016.


Not sure how to handle the future.

An eleven-year-old boy who survived a bomb explosion targeting football fans in a viewing centre by suspected Boko Haram Islamists lies on a bed receiving treatment in a government hospital in Damaturu, June 18, 2014.


Destination unclear.

Members of a family gather their belongings as they wait to flee Nougboua after Boko Haram militants carried out an attack on the village on February 13, 2015.


Returning to nothing.

Yagana Bukar and her mother (R), whose two children have been kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents, are seen at the family home in the town of Damasak, April, 25 2017.


Swimming through.

Nigerians get through with their cars after Boko Haram militants destroyed bridges and road in Adamawa, Nigeria, on May 16, 2015.


Keeping watch for lunch.

A woman prepares food for lunch in an open-air kitchen for people displaced by Boko Haram violence on May 19, 2016 in the Dalori Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) Camp, near Maiduguri.


Calm but hurting.

A man, critically injured by flames following a Boko Haram attack, lies on his bed in a hospital ward in Maiduguri, February 4, 2016.


Searching for bomb.

A security guard searches visitors before allowing them into University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, where several victims of Boko Haram attacks are treated on January 2, 2016.


Villagers will now trek to town.

Residents stand near a smouldering remains of a bus targeted in a suicide attack in the northeast Nigerian town of Potiskum, on February 24, 2015.


As dry as Chibok.

This picture taken on March 5, 2015 shows an aerial view of the burnt-out classrooms of a school in Chibok from where Boko Haram Islamist fighters seized 276 teenagers on the evening of April 14, 2014.


Mobile shop.

People, fleeing from Bama, Konduga and Damboa villages of northern Nigeria due to the clashes between Nigerian security forces and Boko Haram militants, conduct buying and selling at an orientation camp held in a state secondary school for girls under the control of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Maiduguri, September 9, 2014.


Enemy within.

Vigilantes dubbed ‘Civilian JTF’ interrogate a suspected Boko Haram informant in Jajeri neighbourhood in Maiduguri on May 24, 2014.


Everything is under control.

A villager speaks next to the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima (C) during Shettima’s visit to Benisheik, on September 19, 2013, after a gruesome attack by Boko Haram


Life has never been this tough.

An elderly woman, that recently arrived at the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp in Bama gestures she speaks on December 8, 2016.


What about my goats?

A new arrival to the Bama camp for internal displaced people waits to be integrated into the camp on December 8, 2016.


House is what you make of it.

Boys play a game of football in an empty building in Maiduguri on December 6, 2016.


Waiting for our turn.

This photo taken on June 30, 2016 shows Women and children waiting in a queue to visit one of the Unicef nutrition clinics, in the Muna informal settlement, which houses nearly 16,000 IDPs (internally displaced people) in the outskirts of Maiduguri.


Gearing up for a fight.

This photo taken on June 17, 2016 in the village of Toummour, near de Bosso, shows Fula farmer Baouchi Dao holding a bow. Despite his limited and basic means, Baouchi Dao, 50, who lost his son in an attack by Boko Haram now wants to fight.


Strangers keep coming.

US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power (C) interacts with a mother in Malcohi Settlement in Yola, Adamawa State on April 22, 2016.


Business as usual.

A seamstress sews clothes for Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on February 4, 2016.


Not a laughing matter.

Security operatives walk past houses burnt by Boko Haram Islamists at Zabarmari, a fishing and farming village near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on July 3, 2015.


As school won’t just resume.

A young girl reads her tattered note book in Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on February 4, 2016.


Boko Haram was in town.

A photo taken on July 4, 2015 shows houses burnt by Boko Haram fighters at Zabarmari, a fishing and farming village near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria.


Caught in the crossfire, but who cares?

People walk past the burnt carcass of a cow after Boko Haram attacks at Dalori village on the outskirts of Maiduguri on January 31, 2016.


Staying put to mourn.

A mother sits mourning the death of her husband after Boko Haram attacks at Dalori village on the outskirts of Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria on January 31, 2016.

See more photos of the heartbreaking condition of those living under Boko Haram at Getty Images.


Akachi Ugwu

Akachi Ugwu is a digital content producer for ezeja and is based in Enugu. Contact Akachi at