Posted by News Express | 26 September 2014 | 3,544 times
No fewer that 150 displaced persons have died so far from diarrhea, malaria and other water-borne diseases at the Fotokol border resettlement camp in Cameroun, as they could not access medication, the authorities of Ngala local council of Borno State said yesterday.
The deaths, according to Ngala council information officer, Al-Goni Lawan, started occurring five days after over 10,000 fleeing Gambouru/Ngala residents were resettled at the Fotokol Primary School, while others took refuge under trees and makeshift shanks.
“After the Boko Haram multiple attacks last month in Gambouru/Ngala, many of our people, including women and children, fled into Cameroun for safety. Most of them trekked to border villages, before the Camerounian authorities gave us Fotokol Primary School and some temporary accommodation,” he said.
“Two weeks after the attacks, the Borno State Government responded by delivering relief materials of 2,500 bags of rice, cooking oil, salt and a few plastic mats for the surging refugees.”
While thanking the state government for the relief materials, Lawan said the death toll has continued to rise daily, adding that no day passes without about five refugees buried in Fotokol and other communities where they are squatting.
According to him, most of the deaths in the camp were caused by malnutrition, diarrhea, vomiting and other water-borne diseases. He stated: “The death toll in the Fotokol camp, as at last Wednesday, was 153, including 75 children and 78 adults.
“I am calling on the World Health Organisation and Doctors Without Borders to intervene and save the lives of dying refugees from Gambouru in Nigeria. The surviving displaced persons wanted to return to their towns, but the roads are not safe for them to travel on.
“Even when the Borno State Government wanted to deliver medication and other relief materials, the officials have to take a flight from Abuja to Ndjamena, Chad, before travelling by road to Fotokol camp in Cameroun. These are the problems our people are facing as they flee for safety.”
Responding to Lawan’s complaints and fears, North East Coordinator of that National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammed Kanar, had hinted that over 10, 000 Fotokol refugees in Cameroun may be repatriated, after Borno and Adamawa states agreed to repatriate their people for resettlement at an undisclosed location in Nigeria.
He said because of insecurity in the border areas and their routes, the agency could not deliver relief materials and other basic needs of life to Cameroun.
Troops were yet to be deployed to safeguard the place, “we have been reporting to the Federal Government that some terrorists have established camp in Dzur, a mountainous valley around the affected communities, causing havoc where Christians remained the main target.”
•Excerpted from a Guardian report. Photo shows Boko Haram kingpins.
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