Durumi IDPs plead to return home

IDPs. PHOTO: blogs.cfr.org

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in Durumi, Abuja on Friday called on relevant authorities to hasten their relocation back to their communities.

The IDPs told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they had been faced with untold hardship, which had make life unbearable for them and called for help to improve their livelihood.

A NAN correspondent, who visited the IDP camp, observed that no fewer than 3,000 persons live in the shanties with little or no access to basic amenities.

Mr Umar Gola, an IDP said it was difficult for them to have access to basic things for survival, saying they cannot continue to wait for ‘hand-outs’ from philanthropists.

“We want to return to our towns, we commend the security agencies for efforts to end insurgency, but we cannot continue to stay here, we are dying from hunger and we don’t have means of survival.

“There are times when we have to sleep with hunger, other times we have to exchange what we have for what we need. We need help,” Gola added.

Liyatu Ayuba, Woman Leader from Gwoza, Borno, also expressed disappointment at the environment, saying the relevant authorities had shown no concern about their welfare and survival.

According to her, the lack of hospital or a health centre is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths, especially in under-five children.

She said as a traditional birth attendant, she had been able to take deliveries of some pregnant women, adding that there had been cases of emergencies which led to death of mother and child.

Ayuba called on the FCT administration to register all pregnant IDPs in government-owned hospitals to enable them attend antenatal clinics toward protecting the unborn child and the mother.

On lack of toilets and water, she said it was also saddening to note that the unavailability of these basics was causing an increase in preventable illnesses and high rate of open defecation in the camps.

“We don’t have enough toilets, the only one available is catering for the needs of over 20 families; some people will not wait for their turns but resort to defecating in the open.”

She said the IDPs usually tasked themselves N10 each to purchase fuel to pump water from the borehole donated by a Rotary Club, saying the lack of means of income was affecting access to water in the camp.

She said that government support was inadequate to meet the needs of over 3,000 population, and commended efforts of religious groups for support and skills acquisition trainings.

NAN reports that the IDPs from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe have also been living in the camps since 2013 when insurgents ravaged their communities.

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