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IDPs camps in Benue now 14 – SEMA

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, James Iorpuu, has said that there are 14 Internally Displaced Persons camps in the state. Iorpuu told…

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, James Iorpuu, has said that there are 14 Internally Displaced Persons camps in the state.

Iorpuu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Friday that the number would increase to 17 when three new camps are inaugurated in January 2024.

He said that the IDPs camps are located in Makurdi, Guma, Gwer West, Logo and Agatu Local Government Areas.

He stated, “Before we came into office, we had six IDPs camps in Benue but, as we speak, we have 14 camps. These are not new camps; they were existing, but the previous government did not recognise them. We have recognised and activated them.

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“Before now, there were stories that food and other materials from government were not getting to the IDPs. But that has changed; if you go to Benue now, the IDPs are happy. Some of them are not willing to go back to their homes because the government is taking good care of them.”

He said that in order to effectively cater for the IDPs, the agency recruited staff and posted them to various camps to properly manage the IDPs.

According to him, SEMA mapped out the IDPs in each camp into groups, with some camps having up to eight groups.

Iorpuu told NAN that the food was usually shared to the groups through the group heads, who make sure that it reaches the people living in the camps.

He noted, “We have even improved on water and sanitation activities. We are engaging Doctors Without Borders, the United High Commission for Refugees and the Victims Support Fund. These are the major development partners that have been helping us. They developed shelters for the camps, built sanitary facilities and other things.

“The exact and verifiable data of persons in the camps is being compiled. We don’t want to continue to use the speculative figures we inherited from the last administration. The inherited figure we have been using is 2,146,000 displaced persons but, as I said, this figure is not verifiable, and we are working towards getting something accurate.

“To get the exact data, we invited the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), which is currently undertaking the biometric capture of IDPs. When they are through with the exercise, we shall ascertain the correct number of people displaced.”

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