Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Government has expressed worry at the increasing number of persons displaced from their homes by ravaging flood, noting that the number of such persons being sheltered in many camps set up for displaced persons by the state government has almost doubled that for the same time last year.
Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG) and Chairman of the State Flood, Risk Alert and Management Committee, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, who stated this when he visited six camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Delta South and North senatorial districts.
Ebie, however, warned of stiff penalty for camp officials who lowered welfare standards in any camp, particularly commandants of camps found to have deviated from the committee’s template of welfare provision for the inmates.
More than 18,000 inmates or IDPs, made up of women, children, youths and men, have been given temporary accommodation in 11 IDPs camps set up by the state government following the current devastation of homes and farmlands particularly in low-lying areas that are susceptible to seasonal flooding.
Only 10,000 displaced persons were evacuated into IDP camp during the corresponding period in 2018, with prospects for more persons being displaced.
While lamenting the huge burden of managing the increasing number of victims of flooding being catered for by the state government in the IDPs camps, the SSG appealed for support from individuals and the federal government.
Ebie said after the visit yesterday, “I think everything is okay, the levels of hygiene is generally high except for one or two camps.’’
At the IDP camp within Otagba-Ogbe Technical College, Kwale the SSG became furious following complaints by the inmates that they were given food without meat or fish because the commandant slaughtered only one cow a week instead of the three authorised and provided for by the flood committee.
However, he assured that the government will continue to provide for the welfare of the people within the limited resources at its disposal, urging the commandants of the different camps not to deviate from the committee’s template.
Ebie said, “We are here to see that the template set by the committee is working and to find out how the camp commandants are coping.
“We have a total of 11 camps, as at Tuesday, we recorded over 18,000 IDPs and as you can see from the six camps we have visited today, the number of displaced persons in the camps are over 10, 000 persons.
“In the two IDP camps in Patani (Patani Local Government Area, there are 5,228 persons; in Emede camp it’s 2,842; in Alaka, we have 2,756; Ashaka it’s 1,686, Utagba-Ogbe it’s 1,650 and in Ewulu the number is 1,772 persons.
“In total, we have over 18,000 in just about four weeks which is more than what we had last year of about 10,000 IDPs in four weeks. In Emede-Ozoro for instance, last year it was about 1, 500 but now it is over 2,000 persons.
“The only problem we seem to have is that the numbers of persons in the camps are really high this year compared and above our projection but we have to deal with that.º
“This is a source of concern to us in terms of the expansion in the number of persons in the camp. The state government most definitely will need support but in the interim, as a state we are proactive in putting up camps immediately we got a notification from NiMet.’’
Nevertheless, he acknowledged receipt of ‘’donations from a few individuals and few organisations’’, noting, “Last year, the Vice-President came to inspect one of the camps in Asaba. So, we look forward to receiving support from the Federal Government in terms of relief materials.”
Ebie said that the need to set up permanent camps in the three senatorial districts has been discussed at the State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting, which he revealed was receiving appropriate attention as flooding has become a reoccurring issue in the state.
He added that the state government has also sent relief materials for those in flood-impacted communities who refused coming into the camps, including those in Burutu and Bomadi.
He observed that government conducted electronic capturing and documentation of the flood victims before admitting them, saying the database or individual profiles of the inmates for the year were intact.
In an interview, some of the inmates thanked the government but asked for more support in term of improvement in the feeding, sleeping mattress and financial assistance to enable to rehabilitate their homes and businesses after the flooding.
Mrs. Rebecca Onajite in Patani Camp, appealed to government to provide them with seedlings, birds, fingerlings and cash to enable them return and rehabilitate their business when the flood subsides. “We have been in the this camp for about four weeks and the flood has taken away all our crops, birds and washed our ponds away; so, we are appealing to government to help us to restart our farms again when the flood hog down.”
The camps visited were Patani IDP Camp (A and B) in Patani Local Government Area, Emede Camp in Isoko South LGA, Alaka(Ozoro) in Isoko North LGA, Ashaka Camp in Ndokwa East LGA, Utagba-Ogbe Camp in Ndokwa West LGA and Ewulu in Aniocha South LGA.