By Angela Atabo, Abuja.
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.
The Country Director of ActionAid, Mrs Ene Obi, made the call at a news conference at the camp on Monday in Abuja.
The director, who went round the camp to observe the impact of the demolition of structures by the FCTA described it as “unfortunate”.
Obi 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, its officials, INGO, FCTA and other organisations and individuals.”
She said that various authorities had supported and provided infrastructure at the camp, including a health facility, a primary school, a block of toilets and boreholes among others.
The country director further said that the camp accommodated over 3,000 individuals from 330 households.
Obi said: “If the Federal Government recognised the IDPs 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 her, the leadership of the camp, in collaboration with the different security agencies, had helped to check criminal activities within its vicinities.
She said that her interaction with the IDPs indicated that the demolition took place without any form of notice to the IDPs 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 then discussed with the IDPs on their possible relocation but did not fix any time before the demolition took place.
According to her, the IDPs cannot currently go back to their various homes as some of them are still facing attacks by 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 the traumatised IDPs, whose belongings are now exposed to theft.”
Obi stressed 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-food items and dignity kits.
“We are also appealing to donors 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,” she added.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the IDPs 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.
ActionAid Nigeria also distributed relief items to women and gave a cash gift of N10,000 to each of the women in the camp.