By Angela Atabo
An NGO, ActionAid Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to provide amenities for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at Durumi in the FCT.
Country Director of ActionAid, Ene Obi ,made the call at a news briefing at the camp on Monday in Abuja.
The director, who went round the camp to observe the impact of the demolition exercise by the FCTA described it as “unfortunate”.
He said: “The demolition was unexpected and had resulted in shock and trauma for the IDPs.
” Nearly 70 per cent of the IDPs are women, children and elderly persons. They are now suffering from the impact of the demolition.
“This is surprising, because, the camp had the recognition and support of the Federal Government, it’s officials, INGO, FCTA and other organisations and individuals.”
Obi said the various authorities had supported and built infrastructure in the camp such as a health facility, primary school, a block of toilets and boreholes among others.h
The country director further said that the camp had over 3000 individuals from 330 households.
He said: “If the Federal Government recognised the IDP camp, then it is pertinent to ask what changed their stance, leading to its demolition just few days before the Christmas?” Obi asked.
According to Obi, the leadership of the camp, in collaboration with the different security agencies had helped to checkmate criminal activities within its vicinities.
She said her interaction with the IDPs indicated that the demolition took place without any form of notice to the IDP or option of relocation or resettlement.
“Some weeks ago, the Federal Commissioner in charge of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, visited the camp,” she said.
Obi stated that they had then discussed with the IDPs on the possible relocation, but did not fix time before the demolition exercise took place.
According to her, the IDPs cannot currently go back to their various homes as some of them are still under attack by the insurgents.
Obi said: “Women and children are currently sleeping in open places without mats or blankets.
“Starvation and hunger now prevail in the camp, due to loss of their stored foodstuffs and cooking utensils, because of the unexpected demolition.
“Different families have to take turns in using one pot to cook.
“There is an urgent need for psychosocial and health support for traumatised IDPs whose belongings are now exposed to theft.
Obi further said that ActionAid was deeply concerned by the plight of the IDPs and as always, would stand in solidarity with them.
“Today, we will be providing these IDPs with food, non ood items and dignity kits.
“We are also appealing to donor and corporate organisations to support the IDPs to be self sustaining through the provision of economic empowerment.
“We, hereby reiterate that the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and FCTA should consider as a matter of urgency the establishment of an organised camp to resettle the IDPs.
“They should also support them with the construction of shelter and basic infrastructure like school, health centre, toilets and water facilities.
Also speaking , the Chairman of the camp, Mr Ibrahim Ahmadu called on the Federal Government and FCTA to dialogue with the leadership of the camp to fashion out a way of addressing all the issues raised by the authorities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ActionAid Nigeria distributed relief items to the women including N10,000 each to over 100 women in the camp. (NAN)