Several people were displaced from 8 conflict ridden local governments.
The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on Thursday, said it had established 11 camps for the 100,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, from eight crisis-ridden local governments in Benue.
The NEMA Coordinator for North-Central, Mohammed Abdulsalam, made the disclosure in an interview in Jos.
He said, “Each camp has a minimum of 8,500 IDPs. The camps are just too populated and we are thinking of establishing more because more people are trooping into Makurdi from even the areas that have not been attacked.
“People trek tens of kilometres in rural areas with children and loads on their heads to nowhere in particularly because of the fear of the unknown. The people said that the attackers pounce on them without any notice, so, it is better for them to relocate to Makurdi.”
Mr. Abdulsalam said that facilities at the camps had been over-stretched, but explained that NEMA was building additional toilets and bathrooms to improve on the sanitary conditions at the camps.
“We are also providing more overhead tankers to ensure sufficient potable water and minimise health hazards, especially epidemics like cholera,’’ he said.
The NEMA official said that the headquarters had already released additional ambulances that were fully-equipped with facilities and drugs to cater for the health needs of the IDPs. He noted that many women had put to bed at the camps, adding that three women gave birth on same day.
“What we have done is to put the women on a special diet to enable them to take good care of the babies. We have also established a special place for them to minimise distractions from others in case they need some rest,” he said.
The coordinator said NEMA had also provided mosquito nets to ward off mosquito bites that may lead to malaria, stressing that the IDPS had been advised to keep the windows of the classes open while asleep to guard against cerebrospinal meningitis.
On feeding, he said that the kitchen was being re-stocked with more foodstuffs, while thousands of mattresses had been purchased.
The official said NEMA had also purchased wrappers, children’s wears and brocades for the IDPs, and regretted that many survived with just the clothes they had on their backs.
On security in the camps, he said NEMA had engaged retired servicemen and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, personnel to secure the camps.
He thanked religious organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, as well as concerned individuals for their support toward assisting the IDPs and called for more of such show of affection.
To ensure judicious use of food at the camps, Mr. Abdulsalam said rations were usually given to women because NEMA was sure that the women would cook for their children.
“Besides, some men have more than one wife, so if you share the food through men, you may not be fair to those that have large families,” he said.
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