Benue Flood Officials block more victims from entering camp

Camp officials started turning back displaced victims seeking shelter on Sunday.

  • Published:
Flooded Benue play

Flooded Benue

(Collins Uma)
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Officials in charge of International Market, Makurdi, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp opened to provide shelter for victims of the flood crisis in Benue state, have stopped receiving displaced people.

According to Collins Uma, a resident of Makurdi who has been visiting the camp to help out victims, camp officials started turning people away on Sunday, September 3, 2017, after the window for the registration process closed.

He told Pulse Nigeria, "There was rainfall last night (Sunday) and some people who were sleeping in some makeshift structures decided to run to the camp for shelter, but they were not allowed entry because registration had closed."

After visiting the camp on Monday, September 4, for an update on the closure, he confirmed that victims were turned away to cater for themselves.

Benue flood reportedly displaced a sum of 110,000 persons. play

Benue flood reportedly displaced a sum of 110,000 persons.

(Leadership News)

 

He said, "Registration is actually closed. They're not accepting new people who couldn't register on the days that the registration was open. They have to just find a way to sort themselves out somewhere."

When asked whether officials of the camp revealed any information about opening a new camp to accommodate more displaced victims, he said, "We have not heard anything about opening another camp."

ALSO READ: Officials, IDPs decry poor facilities at camp

On what the fate of the denied victims was, Uma said they are currently getting support from different individuals and groups who are catering for their needs.

The camp located in the International Market was declared open by state governor, Samuel Ortom on Wednesday, August 30, alongside another site, Presidential Building at Agan Toll Gate.

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom arrives a flooded area play

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom arrives a flooded area

(The Nation)

 

For unknown reasons, only the camp in International Market is operational, and according to Uma, victims didn't start registering there until Friday, September 1, after the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) commenced official relief efforts.

Uma described the camp as "just an open market with stalls", and claimed NEMA refused to start distributing relief materials to victims until registration was closed on Sunday.

Pulse Nigeria contacted the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) official who is in charge of the camp, but he has not responded to his unanswered calls.

According to Premium Times, the camp currently accommodates 3423 people including 531 men, 642 women, 1387 children over five years, 582 children under five years, 92 pregnant women, 115 lactating mothers, and 74 people living with disabilities.

Days of torrential downpour in Benue state had resulted in what the SEMA claims has displaced an estimated 110,000 people in 24 communities including Makurdi.

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