Over 15,000 refugees from Sokoto and Zamfara States, mainly women and children, are currently taking refuge in some communities of Niger Republic, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.
The Head of NEMA's Operations in Sokoto, Kofoworola Soleye, disclosed this in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital on Thursday at the stakeholders' meeting on disaster management organised by the agency.
Mr Soloye noted that the refugees were displaced from their communities in Isa and Sabon-Birni Local Government Areas of Sokoto State and Shinkafi and Zurmi Local Government Areas in Zamfara due to security challenges.
He said the agency had already visited the refugees and conducted need assessment exercises towards supporting them and reduce the hardship they are encountering.
"We have already reported back to NEMA headquarters and very soon the relief materials would be provided for them," he said.
He said the meeting was aimed at discussing with all the stakeholders on various strategies of disaster management and control.
He urged stakeholders to focus on meetings from time to time so as to be updated on disaster management issues in the state.
In his remarks, the Emir of Anka and Chairman of the State Council of Chiefs, Attahiru Ahmad, urged government to provide permanent security base and deploy more security personnel to rural communities in the state.
Mr Ahmad said "I have been saying this, the only way to tackle these problems is to provide enough security agents in rural communities. I am therefore appealing to security agencies to ensure deployment of their personnel to communities."
He said bandit activities had resulted into many casualties in the state "We have thousands victims of this insecurity, especially widows and orphans."
He commended NEMA for the meeting and call on it to focus on disaster reduction activities than giving relief assistance to disaster victims.
He thanked Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for providing various forms of assistance to the state especially in the health sector.
The meeting was attended by stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders, NGOs, security agencies, the media and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).