ALERT: 1, 296 IDPs risk cholera outbreak in Yobe

ALERT: 1, 296 IDPs risk cholera outbreak in Yobe

- About 1,300 IDPs in Yobe may face cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases

- This is due to the poor living condition of their camp

- The camp, at present, reportedly lacks water and basic sanitation facilities

There are indications that the 1, 296 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pompomari camp, Damaturu, may face cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases due to the absence of water and sanitation facilities.

The inmates said they get water once a day, while their toilet facilities were not being maintained.

The Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Emergency Working Group further reports that inmates of the camp said the coming rains would compound the problems as their makeshift homes are in tatters.

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One of the displaced persons, Adamu Rabiu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) about the poor hygiene practices in the camp and said it was a huge problem to the inhabitants.

He alleged that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had neglected provision of adequate water for them.

He said that the single solar-powered borehole in the camp was grossly inadequate for their population of over 1,300.

He expressed concerns over how sanitation officers in charge of maintaining hygiene in their toilets, had failed to apply disinfectants and air fresheners to reduce offensive smell polluting the premises.

Rabiu said that the development could become harmful to the population of the IDPs and called for immediate deployment of more sanitation workers to help rescue the situation.

“As you can see for yourself, the environment is not conducive at all.

“We want the authorities in charge to help us maintain this camp by bringing in sanitation workers.

“We are aware that the Red Cross helped in cleaning the drains and culverts, but now, SEMA is in charge and they are not doing anything.

“We need help in areas of food and water. As you can see that the jerry cans and the people here are waiting for water to come, the solar-powered borehole is not adequate.

“The tanker brings water once a day; it is not enough for the population here.

“Our rooms are torn, the rains are coming soon, we want the government to come to our aid to help repair our makeshift houses.’’

Another IDP, Mohammed Danladi, said that the clinic was lacking relevant drugs, and called for support to equip the clinics with essential drugs.

When contacted, the director, Search and Rescue, Yobe SEMA, Alhaji Garba Bilal, explained that the camp initially had 4,011 IDPs.

He said, but with the reduction of the insurgency, a large number of IDPs had returned, leaving 1,296 persons.

Bilal said that the camp was fully funded by the state government in collaboration with donor agencies.

He said that the collaborative efforts covered the provision of basic needs and psycho-social support towards the overall goal of reintegrating the IDPs into the society.

According to him, there are other six IDP camps in Kukareta, Ngaburawa, Fuguri, Muhammad Gombe’s Farm, Albari YBC and Kasesa, which has the highest population.

Baba Galadima, the team leader, WASH in Emergency Working Group, expressed joy that the camps had been decongested.

He commended the state government for timely interventions towards providing livelihood support for the IDPs.

He said that the federal government was intervening in providing the group with facilities in parts of the state to augment the already existing ones.

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The group is working to see that humanitarian responses especially in the northeast reach their target population. previously reported that a cholera outbreak in Gashua, Yobe, claimed 13 lives out of 160 cases reported within six days.

A source at the Gashua General Hospital told NAN that five deaths were first recorded while eight lives were later lost to the disease.

The source said that the victims were brought in from Sabon Gari, Katuzu, Zango, Lawan Musa and Sarkin Hausawa, which were among the areas worst affected by the outbreak.

The state government, however, dispatched a Rapid Response Team to contain the outbreak and spread of the disease.

Alhaji Mohammed Bukar, the general manager, Yobe Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), confirmed that the response team embarked on chlorinating water reservoirs and disinfecting toilet facilities in the area.

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