For Nigerians displaced from Lake Chad by the Islamist insurgents, a weekly conversation on a borrowed phone is the best chance of finding missing relatives

Hawa Adamu Bello yells excitedly into the basic mobile phone that has just been handed to her. She is through to her sister-in-law. The women haven’t seen each other since Boko Haram militants attacked their town on the Nigerian shores of Lake Chad more than two years ago.

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah,” she says, giving the Muslim answer to all the questions about how she is, how things are, how her husband is, as quickly as possible, balancing the need for speed with the risk of being unforgivably rude.

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