Monday, 28 September 2015


By Bemgba Iortyom.

It was another day of activity at the Benue IDPs camp located at the Makurdi International Market, with the distribution of mosquitoe nets and sleeping blankets to the IDPs by officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

SEMA boss, Boniface Ortese, who personally conducted the distribution exercise, informed the press that the items were part of a stockpile of relief materials procured by the Ortom administration for the use of flood victims at the camp.

The state's Commissioner for Water Resources, Nick Wende, on a visit to the camp inspected facilities including toilets, the water distribution network and electricity, and subsequently directed the state water board to assign a mobile water supply tanker to the camp as an immediate palliative to the problem of shortage of potable water being faced by persons at the camp.

The Water Resources Commissioner also assured that the water supply network at the market, which has all along been moribund, will be re-activated and electricity supply to the premises, previously cut off by Jos Electricity Distribution Company, will be re-connected, even as he reiterated that Gov. Samuel Ortom is monitoring the situation at the camp on a daily basis and remains committed to the total wellbeing of displaced persons camped there.

A representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and that of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were also present at the camp yesterday to ascertain the state of things there, preparatory to their organisations getting involved there, with the NEMA man, Ben Ogbole, giving a pass-mark to the quality of the camp, even as he cautioned the IDPs against acts of truancy and vandalisation of facilities at the camp which he said is of international standards.

SEMA helmsman, Ortese, further revealed that mobile registration of displaced persons in the rural areas of the state will commence in a day's time, while it is the directive of Gov. Ortom that emergency management desks be opened in all local govt. areas effected by the flood to facilitate the opening and running of satellite IDPs camps for displaced persons there.

Some of the displaced persons at the camp complained of shortage of food as a major problem and appealed to Gov. Ortom to come to their assistance as according to them, the floods had displaced them not just from their homes but also from their various means of livelihood.

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