Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Today, we commenced distribution of relief materials at the IDP Camp in International Market. The Volunteer Team arrived the camp at 4:30.
After registration of the items, by SEMA, distribution commenced. We had the option of handing over the items to SEMA for distribution or distributing ourselves with the support of SEMA ad hoc staff. We opted for both options – handover garri, sugar, Abacha stoves and charcoal, while mattresses, mats, blankets and condiments were distributed on the spot.
SEMA officials led the process in order to maintain their already established sharing formula. In the course of distribution, we realized that the sharing formula did not favour some victims.
1. Mattresses were stocked in the store while majority of the victims slept on bare floor.
2. Sharing our mattresses (as we insisted to have them shared in our presence), we discovered that the victims camped in the third and fourth blocks hardly received relief materials.
Consequently, we decided to engage in the sharing process ourselves adopting the formula of sharing from the fourth block to the first. This way, victims in the last two blocks also got items.
3. The most pathetic of all challenges is the insufficient supply of stoves. The entire camp had only 49 stoves at the time of our arrival. The 49 stoves were distributed one stove to five rooms. There are four families per room. This means 20 families share 1 stove. At the time we finished distribution of materials at about 9.00 p.m., majority of the families were still on the cooking queue. With the coming of our 40 stoves, the number of stoves at the camp have increased to 89. This is still grossly inadequate. There is need to focus intervention in this area.
4. Registration without residency card: The procedure at the camp is to issue residency cards containing registration number as well as the number of room allocated. Some victims were admitted to camp without residency cards. These cardless flood victims have suffered neglect and denied privileges (some for as long as three days). Camp officials refused to supply them items because they were not yet issued residency cards.
Seeing their pathetic situation, we decided to share our materials to them as well. The camp management promised to issue them residency cards today. The management informed us, upon inquiry, that the victims were to be issued residency cards but the Vice President’s visit disrupted the process.
Another emerging issue at the camp is the allegation that at night, victims pass over the fence, relief materials supplied to them.
We spoke to the security personnel and were informed that many victims have been caught sending items over the fence at night. This is partly why the camp officials are reluctant sharing items, especially beddings. The camp management alleged that some of the victims sleeping on bare floor were served either mat or mattress but they passed them over the fence.
We also noticed that some of the people in the camp are not displaced by flood. They came to camp to benefit from the relief provided.
Considering that the blankets we supplied were not enough to go round, we shared to the aged, pregnant women and women with little children only.
We also shared bread obtained from our partners … at reduced cost.
At the time we finished sharing items (about 9 pm), the victims, many who had not received anything since relocating to the camp were happy, full smiles and expressed profound appreciation. “we know that you people are good people and will always do the right thing” etc. are the kind words we received from victims who benefited from our first phase of intervention in Padopads Secondary School but moved to the camp after we closed the feeding Centre.
The success recorded yesterday was possible due to perseverance of the Volunteer Team. At the time the team resolved to undertake sharing of the items themselves, it was dusk and I was tired.
However, encouraged by their resilience, we were happy at the end that though little, we were able to impact on the victims; we were sure that the materials we provided got to the target beneficiaries. This impact is your impact because it was possible due to your selflessness and generosity.
We in the field, haven witnessed the hardships suffered by the victims, have become doubly passionate about this intervention. In the light of this, while thanking you for your sacrifice, we wish to inform you that the living condition of the victims, both in the camp and in the communities is very precarious. The victims still need support.
Therefore, we appeal to you to continue to solicit aid from friends and networks to sustain this intervention. The flood challenge appears to be just beginning as more rain is expected at this time. Last night, it rained heavily; it is still raining now. I wonder what the situation will be in the flood prone areas.
At the moment, the camp is in dire need of the following:
2. Utensils (pots and plates)
We also need a truck, van or any big vehicle to help us move items to the affected communities, as we intend to deliver materials to the communities…
A vehicle to fuel will cost us less than hiring one. We are without one today and will appreciate anyone who has a vehicle in the category listed herein but not pressingly engaged to help us.
We received cash donation of N22,575 from three donors, as earlier notified.
Diary of the Benue Flood 4….IDPs pass supplies over camp fence
Wednesday, September 6, 2017