Outbreak of epidemics is imminent in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Taraba State due to alleged failure of government to attend to the plight of the IDPs taking refuge in public places in Gassol Council.
Some of the over 13,000 persons displaced from their homes in Donga and Bali councils following the clash between the Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups are taking refuge in St. John’s College in Mutum-Biyu and Sabin-Gida. They are reportedly exposed to various forms of ailments and communicable diseases.
At the time of filing this report, a good number of displaced women were seen with babies suspected to have been born in the camps.
Our correspondent, who recently visited one of the camps, observed that despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the displaced persons were jam-packed in the same place, a situation which made wearing of face masks or observation of d social distancing a mirage.
The displaced persons, including Chekele Emmanuel (camp leader) and Helen Aoodun, lamented that the crisis heralded untold hardship on them, as many of them had been infected with various diseases.
Beckoning the authorities to “act fast,” the camp leader, who conducted our correspondent round the premises, said: “Just as you have rightly observed, very soon, we may likely experience an outbreak of diseases that would be worse than the coronavirus we are battling with now.”
Corrorating the camp leader, the national president of Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Chief Goodman Dahida, said: “With what I have observed in the two camps that are playing host to these refugees, I think there is an urgent need for government, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) as well as both the state and federal ministry of health to immediately come in and save lives.”
Disturbed by the ugly situation, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, stated stated that the state was leaving no stone unturned to ensure peaceful resolution of the crisis.