IDPs raise alarm over snake bite

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Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) residing at Gongola camp in the FCT, have appealed to relevant authorities to provide potable water and toilets, saying women were usually bitten by snakes while looking for water.

This was the thrust when a team of the National Task Group on Sanitation and some NGOs such as; WaterAid and Action Against Hunger, visited the camp on Monday.

The camp Chairman, Mr Joseph Jauro, called for immediate interventions from relevant stakeholders, saying this was necessary to forestall future occurrences.

He recounted numerous cases of diarrhea and cholera cases and deaths among under-five children, saying this was been linked to poor sources of drinking water.

Jauro narrated the difficulty in getting water, adding that water vendors usually came around to sell water for some persons in the community.

“The issue we have in this camp is malaria, cholera and snake bites, because of the bushes around, there are times when they come into your room, two women have been bitten so far.

“We don’t have water and toilets here, some of us go to the bushes around to do their thing, there are times when we buy the water outside, one 20 litres of water is bought for 20 naira.

“Some water vendors ‘mairuwa’, usually comes to sell water for us, we buy from them at N20 naira per 20 litres jerry can.

“There are times when you do not have the money to buy the water; you end up going to the stream to fetch the water the way it is.

“We want government to help us, to alleviate our sufferings in this camp, how can we call ourselves Nigerians when we do not have the basic necessities of life’’, he said.

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The chairman also called for the construction of a borehole, provision of electricity, health center and a school.

Meanwhile, Mariam Shuaibu, one of the 845 victims of insurgency who narrated her ordeal said she found succor the camp, after activities of insurgency in Madagali Local Government Area, Adamawa State, made them flee their homes in 2015.

According to her, several attempts at relocation proved abortive following continuous insurgent attacks.
Mariam noted that the camp which had become home to her family and other settlers was being neglected by the government.

“We don’t have any good source of water here; all we use is the stream that is a kilometer away, there were two occasions when two women going to fetch water were bitten by snakes.

“This is not the first time that this has happened; we had to take them to the health center in Karamajiji Lepers village, a distant community to assess first aid care for them.

Mariam, a mother of four, also bemoaned the lack of toilet facilities at the make-shift community, saying they had to make use of surrounding bushes to defecate in the open.

Earlier, Mrs Chizoma Opara, an official of the National Task Group on Sanitation noted that Federal Government was working with some stakeholders to pass the hand washing messages round, with the provision of potable water.

She said the visit to the IDP camps was one of the activities to commemorate the 2018 Global Hand Washing Day, with the theme, “Clean Hands, a recipe for health’’.

She said hand washing is one of the avenues to break the cycle of transmission of diseases, saying that the group was carrying hygiene messages to eight IDP camps in the FCT.

“We are aware of the large number of vulnerable persons in the camps, which is why we are carrying the hand washing messages to them.’’

Opara said in 2017, the group carried out hygiene messages to schools and public places, noting that children have been known to lead behavioural changes among their peers and family members.