Central Nigeria: Authorities in Plateau State will today screen survivors of ‘herdsmen’ attacks in Barkin Ladi Local Government, the epicenter of the violence, for medical needs.
At least 1000 of them, most of whom are women and children will be shortlisted for surgeries and other medical actions after the screening, it was learnt.
Funded by Barkin Ladi Local Government and an unnamed private organization, the screening and subsequent treatments will be done for free, officials say.
“These are traumatized people who need all the help they can get.
“Their means of livelihood have been taken away by the conflicts and they are merely living on donations from outside,” said Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government, Ezekiel Mandyau.
All humanitarian assistance, as Mandyau puts it, must address the IDPs’ medical needs to be complete.
“We want to make sure that they are cared for holistically to enable them pick up and rebuild,” Mandyau told Journalists, Friday.
The exercise he said would prepare the IDPs for the coming farming season.
“Without good health, they will not be able to cultivate their farms and earn from them,” said the LG boss
The LGA currently earns monthly revenue of N500,000 ($1,368USD), less than the average salary of a State Commissioner.
Mandyau however believes the figure could quadruple if the villagers who are mostly farmers return to their abandoned trade.
“N500,000 is on the average our weekly revenue capacity so the farmers returning to their business will greatly improve our income for increased infrastructural intervention,” he said.
Over 20,000 people displaced by the weeklong attacks of June 2018 which killed over 200 people were last year returned home by State authorities.
Many of them lost their houses, food crops and businesses, but officials are optimistic of a swift economic recovery.
The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Thursday launched the distribution of irrigation machines to farmers across the State.
At least 60 farmers in Barkin Ladi, likely IDPs are expected to get the donations and resume farming activities.