By Peter Duru, Makurdi
There are indications that as at March 1, no fewer than 80,450 children are currently trapped in eight Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps established by the Benue state government to cater for victims of herdsmen incursions in the state.
According to official figures obtained from the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, of the said figure 47,353 are male while 39,909 are female children.
A further breakdown of the figure indicated that the LGEA Primary School camp and the UNHCR Shelter camp, all in Daudu, Guma local government area, houses a total number of 10,871 children. 6,527 are male while 4,344 are female.
The Tse-Ginde camp also in Guma local government area, with a total number of 10,021 children, 4,468 of them are male while 5,553 are female children.
At the Gbajimba camp where 9,393 children are currently taking refuge, 2,941 are male while 6,453 are female children.
The Abagena or Agan camp, in the outskirt of Makurdi the state capital, of the 16, 583 children taking refuge in the gigantic camp 8, 773 are male while 7, 810 are female.
According to the figures from SEMA, the Anyiin camp in Logo local government area of the state is playing host to 19, 283 children. Of this number 9, 845 are male while 9, 438 are female.
At the Abeda camp also in Logo local government area, 6,730 children are currently taking refuse in the camp. Out of this number 1, 677 are male while 3, 688 are female.
The camp at the LGEA Primary School Ugba, the Logo local government headquarters houses 7, 569 children. The male children are 5, 312 while the female are 2, 623.
Meanwhile as at March 1, the total number of persons displaced as a result of the lingering crisis stood at 175, 070.
Speaking on the development, the Executive Secretary Benue State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Emmanuel Shior lamented that the state was facing a huge humanitarian crisis that had overwhelmed the state government.
“What we have at hand is a huge humanitarian crisis that has already overwhelmed the state government given the financial implication.
“Catering for the 175,070 IDPs caused by the herdsmen crisis and the 10,940 refugees from Southern Cameroon who are currently taking refuge in Abande and Imande- Agbatse the two camps established in Kwande local government area are obviously a huge challenge that requires urgent help from well meaning organisations, individuals and the international community.” Shior added.