From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja, shocked officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the National Commission for Refugees and Ghana High Commission, when they alleged that expired drugs and spoilt food items donated to them had killed some of them in thecamps.
The IDPs also alleged that some people are in the habit of making money with their predicament.
The stunning revelation was made when the Ghana High Commission visited the Durumi, Area 1, Abuja IDP camp and donated relief materials, as part of activities commemorating the country’s 60th independence anniversary.
Women Leader of the camp, Mrs. Liyatu Ayuba claimed that people sometimes donate unwholesome items, and alleged that some people died after taking them, including eight children in Wasa IDP camp, in 2016.
“Apart from the drugs, sometimes, people just pack spoilt food, including expired noodles and bring to us. In fact, many times, we find out that the food they bring here in takeaway packs are already sour,” she stated.
Camp Coordinator, Mr. Idriss Ibrahim-Haliru corroborated Ayuba’s claim and disclosed that they now screen every donation before use.
“We have one who abandoned this school after garnering millions of naira and she left the country; another group took us to the Millennium Park (in Abuja); staged an event, raised funds and materials.
“I know how many bags of clothes that were donated and food items. From that day, they refused to pick our calls and it was with much pressure that, about seven days after the programme they released few materials to us.
“I know what I am saying. So many groups have used and dumped us,” said he.
Ibrahim-Haliru appealed to the UNHCR and the National Commission for Refugees to come to their aid by ensuring that culprits were brought to book.
He insisted that using and dumping IDPs must stop because, “it makes us angrier. We are already traumatised and angry people.”
The camp coordinator further reasoned that it was erroneous for government not to recognise their camps when, in actual fact, there are over 10,500 IDPs in various camps within the Federal Capital Territory.
FCT health authorities could not confirm the allegation, but, Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, had, last year said diarrhoea outbreak in Wasa IDP camp may have been caused by a contaminated stream where the children and other displaced persons drank from.