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Sanitation: IDP Camps Risk Epidemic Outbreak – Group

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NEMA has found it convenient to disown several IDP camps in Abuja and other states tagging them unrecognized/unofficial and thus abandoning them to their fate.

The continued state of camps housing internally displaced persons in the country has continued to give strong cause for worry given the import of this on health and socio-economic well-being of not just the residents of these camps but the larger Nigerian populace as a whole.

Many IDP camps in the country still house large population of persons in mostly shabby and over -crowded structures with inadequate and in some cases no provision of either water, security, sanitation, or health care facilities. 

This is irrespective of the fact of a teaming population of these camps residents being women and young children who are in particular need of these facilities. 

This makes these camps vulnerable to both security as well as health risks. 

Equally worrisome is the fact that the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA has found it convenient to disown several IDP camps in Abuja and other states tagging them unrecognized/unofficial and thus abandoning them to their fate.

Government and non-governmental organizations need to urgently step up actions at improving health and living conditions in these camps by providing and or increasing the provision of basic facilities that includes water, sanitation materials and services as well as drugs and medical personnel in these camps. 

This is to help in not just improving living conditions in these camps but also forestalling outbreak of diseases or epidemic such as Lassa Fever in them that would no doubt be catastrophic not just for the residents of these camps but for the country as a whole.

Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor

Head, Social Action Abuja

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