8 November 2012

Nigeria: Kogi Flood Victims Leave Camps, Allege Frustration

Many flood victims in Kogi State have left the three temporary camps in Lokoja, alleging neglect by the state government.

Journalists, who visited the camps at Kabawa, Gadumo and Adankolo, report that most of the victims have left for their homes. The Kabawa camp was virtually empty as only 11 men , six women and 13 children were present as against more than 500 displaced persons who took refuge in the facility at the peak of the crisis.

There was a similar situation at the Gadumo and Adankolo camps, although the number of victims was much higher than that of Kabawa.

It was also observed that officials of Red Cross, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ministry of Environment and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have left the Kabawa camp.

A spokesman for the victims at Kabawa, Mr Yakubu Iliyasu, said the people left the camp last week out of frustration and without any monetary assistance from the state government.

Iliyasu said the government, Red Cross and NEMA officials finally moved out of the camp on Saturday, adding that the medical stand in the camp had also been removed.

He said a few victims who remained might have been abandoned as they had not been served food, medicines and other essential items for five days. He said there was no government official around to whom one could complain.

It would be recalled that some of the victims from Adankolo camp on Friday staged a peaceful protest against alleged poor handling of monies and relief materials donated to them

But the state's deputy governor, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, who is also the chairman of SEMA, denied the allegations.

He said all monies donated to victims were still intact while the relief materials had been judiciously distributed among the victims.

Awoniyi said all the monies donated by the Federal Government, corporate organisations and individuals to the victims were still intact.

According to Awoniyi, the state government has not given money to anyone.

Commenting on the development, the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Abdulrhaman Wuya, said government cannot stop anyone from leaving the camp.

Wuya said the camps were provided as temporary accommodation for the people, but added that government was making efforts to provide alternative accommodation for the remaining victims.

He said government has acquired some houses, including the trade fair complex at Felele area of Lokoja and provided some amenities in them for the use of victims.


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