Monday, April 14, 2014

Flood victims starve as authorities complain of insufficient relief materials

Published:

Photo: punchng.com

 A camp commandant has asked for more relief materials saying children were starving in the camp.

The insufficiency of relief materials has led to desperate food rationing which has caused hundreds of children to starve, victims and camp officials in Rivers State have said.

Some flood victims at the Erema and Omoku camps in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Areas of Rivers State on Thursday accused the camp authorities of mismanagement of the relief materials meant for them.

A visit to the camps shows that the camps were crowded, with an average of 20 persons, including women and children, sleeping in one room. A cross-section of the victims at the camps expressed displeasure over the mismanagement of relief materials provided by government.

One of the flood victims at the Erema camp, Frank Umesi, said they were being exploited by the camp authorities.

Mr. Umesi alleged that camp authorities were deliberately depriving them of food and other essential materials donated to them by the state government.

“We are not satisfied based on what the masses are facing in the hands of those (camp authorities) feeding us.

“They are mismanaging those things (relief materials) that are given to them; even though government supply those things in quantity; they economise them to give government a bad name.”

He gave an example of how food was being rationed and poorly prepared at the camp

“They share a piece of Indomie (Noodle) to five children; they (children) will eat it raw; they are economising it much; at least, each child should be given one Indomie.”

Mr. Umesi called on the government to intervene so as to reduce the sufferings of the flood victims in the area.

A flood victim at Omoku camp, Ohia Bright, claimed that the camp authorities were fabricating fictitious names as flood victims.

“They (camp authorities) are not sharing something (relief materials) equal because there is upper-hand in this camp; that is trading the ingredients (relief materials) that government is bringing for us,” Mr. Bright said.

Materials are insufficient

Reacting to the allegations, Ike Enugu, the Erema Camp Commandant, who denied the allegation, explained that the relief materials were not sufficient.

He said displaced persons were daily pouring into the camp, a situation which further depleted existing relief materials.

“We need government to supply us with additional relief materials because we presently lack food, clothes and medicine and the children are dying of hunger,” Mr. Enugu said.

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