November 28, 2021

COVID-19: Crowded camps put Niger IDPs at risk

IDP camp in Niger

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Internally Displaced Persons in Kuta Camp in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State might be under threat of the dreaded Coronavirus disease.

Officials claim they have sustained sensitisation on the disease in all camps, providing hand washing equipment and sanitizers.

However, our correspondent reports that over 40 IDPs in Kuta camp share a room designed for six people, making it hard for social distancing.

The camp with over 1000 IDPs lacks secure doors, clean bed spaces and adequate sanitation facilities, leading to frequent infections especially in women and children, it was gathered.

While women pick up infectious bacteria in the few broken and unkept toilet facilities in the camp, children pick up germs from playing within the messy camp environment and eating with unclean hands.

Officials have promised several times to fix the broken facilities but have yet to, said one of the IDPs, Mrs. Maimuna Dikko.

The Desk Officer of the Camp, Yusuf Bala, admitted the situation was “worrisome”, but insisted that government was aware and doing “everything possible” to provide more accommodation and sanitation facilities.

Government has so far provided borehole and is currently faced with inadequate drugs and facilities in the camp’s clinic, he said.