About 99 percent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Borno State lacked access to food and clean water supply compared to their counterpart in Yobe where 87 per cent also lacked access to food and water, a Situational Assessment Survey on IDPs in North-East conducted by NOI Polls has revealed.
Also, 93 per cent of IDPs in unofficial camps lacked access to food compared to others in official camps where about 71 percent do not have access to food, just as there are about 2.1 million IDP’s residing in about 13 states in Nigeria This is coming on the heels of recent protests by IDPs on their living conditions in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital which accounts for 90 percent of the total number of displaced persons in North-East.
NOI Polls, incorporated in 2007 has been in the forefront of championing public opinion research in Nigeria and across the West African sub-region in technical partnership with Gallup (USA).
Recall that the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima had stated that the state spends about N650m monthly on IDPs while the IDPs were consuming 1,800 bags of rice daily even as Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), also revealed that it was distributing 900 bags of rice to IDPs weekly.
The major aim of the survey which was to highlight the general controversies surrounding the general welfare of IDPs in the North-East was conducted between July 4th – July 29th, 2016, just as a total of 400 contacts attempted the questions.
One hundred and ninety respondents were drawn from Borno, 128 in Adamawa and 82 in Yobe, aged between 18 years and above while the face-to-face survey technique enabled NOI Polls to capture
According to the findings, “Though the provision of firewood is the responsibility of local government areas and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between federal government and state government, yet thousands of IDPs including lactating mothers, children and elderly starve due to the absence of firewood.
Presenting the survey, the chief executive officer of NOIPolls, Dr Bell Ihua confirmed that only 10 to 20 percent of IDPs lived in camps while 80 to 90 percent lived in host communities stressing that petty crimes and drug abuse were also on the increase at the camps.
He maintained that there were incidences of sexual abuse and hike in social vices at the camps which he said were carried out by 66 percent of camp officials, 28 percent of host communities and 6 percent from elders.
Ihua regretted the rising cases of mortality, which he said that 88 percent IDPs died on daily basis as was witnessed during the survey adding that there was a cholera outbreak in the camps.
He requested for unannounced presidential visit by Muhammadu Buhari to Maiduguri as a way of boosting the morales of security agencies fighting insurgency in the area even as he advocated for increased funding for the IDPs.
Also speaking, the chairman of Civil Society Organisation Network, Borno State, Amb Ahmed Shehu, expressed worry over the increasing cases of prostitution at the camps which may result to HIV/ AIDS and other infectious diseases.
“In camps and host communities, women need cash-based assistance to establish livelihoods such as tailoring, processing and selling flour or groundnut oil, milk and among others”, he said.
On his part, the Director of Forefront Media, Mr Mohammed Alfa who is a native of Gworza called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) to visit Borno State and access the financial impropriety of Borno government towards the starving IDPs.