Many residents of flooded communities in Kogi and Bayelsa states who were forced to become internally displaced persons have yet to receive any compensation or relief materials from the Nigerian government, months after their ordeal started, SaharaReporters has learnt.

Some of the victims noted that the so-called relief materials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had yet to get to them, amidst several bogus claims from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

SaharaReporters was told on Saturday that starvation had currently crept into the IDPs camps and the victims were left to their plight.

According to some of the victims, most affected communities had not received relief materials from NEMA as claims of food items turned out to be false.

“Visit any of the IDPs camps to confirm this. There are no food or relief materials from the government to alleviate the sufferings experienced by those displaced. The camps are in such a sorry state that IDPs scramble for food and other items provided by only the Non-Governmental Organisations,” a source said. 

One of the IDPs, who begged not to have her name in print, said at one of the camps in Kogi State, NEMA officials only visited them once with few bags of rice that barely lasted a week.

“We have been abandoned here. We don’t have food to eat or water to drink. Our children are exposed to cold and mosquitos. As I speak, most children here are suffering from Malaria and other diseases due to the unhygienic nature of the camps. Most times, we wonder if we have a government and what NEMA’s role is,” she said.

“We hear daily that the government is making provisions to bring relief materials. As you can see, most of us here have not eaten for days. We are suffering here, and I wish the government could come to our rescue,” another displaced resident said.

“We don’t know what the government is doing regarding our plight. As you can see, we have been abandoned and left to die here. We don’t have food to eat or beds. We sleep on a makeshift bed that we constructed ourselves. This is our plight, and we are still waiting for the government to rescue us. The claim by the government that those in IDP camps are being taken care of is completely false. We are experiencing the worst of conditions,” another victim in Bayelsa State camp cried out.

Sources added that the situation in Edo was not different as NEMA officials failed to visit some of the camps since their establishment.

“It is pathetic that NEMA, as an intervention agency, could not get its act right. There was an emergency, and people lost lives and sources of livelihood. Yet, the best we got from NEMA were falsehoods regarding her interventions in ameliorating the suffering of the victims.

“The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs under whose purview NEMA falls has failed woefully in ensuring the operational effectiveness of NEMA, especially during emergencies such as this. Unfortunately, you get this when you have incompetent people in government,” one of the social activists in Bayelsa State said.

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