.Bandits

By Joseph Erunke & Ezra Ukanwa, ABUJA

FOLLOWING the increasing cases of insecurity in Nigeria, a news dissemination platform, PRNigeria, on Thursday, stated that the incessant attacks against Chonoko community in Kebbi state, and Kagara community in Niger state, have contributed immensely to the abrupt decline in professional healthy care delivery, education services and other humanitarian interventions in the states.

This was even as it specifically noted that modes of survival in the Internally displaced persons, IDPs, camps have become an herculean task as the people were seen in massive need for major human basic amenities such as food, water, shelter among others.

The news platform, however, accused state governments for hoarding relief materials donated by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to vulnerable communities.

A PRNigeria representative, Mukhtar Y. Madobi, made these disclosures during a two-Day workshop on: Humanitarian Journalism for Economic Development, in Abuja, following its investigative study on humanitarian situation and plights of IDPs in Kebbi state, and in Niger state, respectively.

According to him, education is another critical sector that was also badly hit due to this insecurity. Findings showed that the majority of schools in those villages have been closed due to fear of bandits’ attacks.

“Farmers in some surrounding villages have resorted to paying levies to the bandits in order to gain access to their agricultural fields and conduct farming activities. Nevertheless, agricultural activities have reduced drastically thereby leading to corresponding increase in food crisis

“Most of the schools in villages are closed down due to fear of bandit attacks, thus affecting educational sector in that area

“Healthcare system delivery is being dragged to the mud as the General Hospital was forced to offer skeletal services.

“Meanwhile, some that are located within the towns have been turned to IDPs camps where the victims are being accommodated. This situation has sent many students away from classes, thereby adding to the number of out-of-school children in the area and the country at large.

“Chonoko town is suffering from lack of potable water supply as investigation showed that the IDPs and the residents battle to get water for domestic purposes from the only two available boreholes present within the community. In fact, people used to spend the night queueing in order to get water for their daily needs.

“With regard to the shelter, the IDPs are living in an overcrowded settlement where a single room is being occupied by up to more than 15 persons. This called for a great concern because disease becomes easily transmitted in this type of under-spaced environment, thus threatening the healthcare system.

“The over 10, 000 Chonoko IDPs are living under hardships as they lack basic necessities of life. These include but not limited to adequate food, shelter, medications, clothes, detergents and other vital household items necessary for living a good life.

“Residents of Kagara have been doing the needful in assisting the victims of banditry by providing them with some relief materials aimed at improving their life condition.

“Majority of the IDPs are engaged in one or different kind of businesses in order to sustain their lives, a development which is helping a lot in the process of their resettlement in Kagara town”, he added.

Madobi, therefore, urged the Nigerian Government at all levels and security forces to intensify efforts not only ensure that peace and security are restored to the affected communities but to see to the welfare of the affected people.

He prayed NEMA, and the Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, NCFRMI, to intervene in the situation of the IDPs by providing them with relief materials and other forms of humanitarian assistance.

He said: “The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) should look into the situation of these IDPs by providing them with relief materials. These items should include; foodstuff, detergents, clothes, wrappers, mattresses etc. Also, agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals, seeds etc. should also be distributed in order to improve agricultural activities.

“Provision of medical supplies should be considered in order to ensure the delivery of a robust and sound healthcare system. This will go a long way in averting diseases outbreak and other emergencies

“Efforts should be outlined and implemented toward rescuing the dwindling educational sector, thereby absorbing back the school drop outs from the streets which is necessary for averting future security breaches

“International donor agencies including the International Red Cross Society (IRCS) and other likes should intervene in the awful situation of the IDPs, especially in providing them with adequate shelter so as to reduce too much population in their overcrowded settlements.

“Government and stakeholders should engage the victims in vocational trainings after which logistics and capital should be distributed to them in order to enhance their business enterprises.

“International humanitarian organizations, including the Red Cross among others should intervene in providing assistance to the internally displaced persons.”

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