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NEMA denies allegation of sexual abuse, others in IDP camps



Mohammed Sani-Sidi

• Red Cross seeks media support on humanitarian reporting 

AGAINST the backdrop of allegations of child trafficking and sexual assault in the Internally Displaced Peoples’ camps, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday explained that what the report erroneously termed as child trafficking was movement of some children IDPs from one camp to another for security reasons and to provide more comfort for the children.

Director-General of NEMA, Mohammed Sani-Sidi during a one-day workshop on the intervention of NEMA in the Disaster Crisis in Nigeria organized by Journalists Against Disaster (JAD) yesterday in Abuja pointed out that though there are few cases of unwholesome practices, they are normal problems also witnessed in the larger society.

In his goodwill message, President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Bolaji Akpan Anani advised that journalists all over the country must learn to give more attention to the urgently needed humanitarian reporting, adding that both the government and humanitarian organisations, including Red Cross depend on timely and accurate reporting of humanitarian situations for timely interventions.

Sani-Sidi continued that IDPs are not criminals, who cannot be held hostage in their own country, they have freedom of movement to go out of the camp and come back as they like, however NEMA is trying to see an end to some of the unwholesome practices and ensure that sanity is maintained on camps.

He said since the inception of the insurgency, NEMA has being, on behalf of the federal government meeting to the various needs of the IDPs ranging from search and rescue, temporary shelter, non-food items, food and nutrition, camp coordination and camp management, protection, security, basic education, water sanitation and hygiene, logistics and telecommunication.

Sani-Sidi said, “In meeting to these critical needs, NEMA worked in close collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agencies, Local Government Emergency contact point, relevant ministries, department and agencies across federal, state and local government.

“The multi-sectoral assessment conducted in January, 2015 indicated that in the area of provision of food NEMA, SEMAs, UN Agencies and other organisation have provided food and non-food items to IDPs living in camp and those living with host families in the 3 S.O.Es.”

Sani-Sidi, represented by the Director, Disaster Risk Reduction of the agency, Alhassan Nuhu revealed that NEMA have deployed 20 trained personnel in camp coordination and camp management to provide technical support to SEMAs and Red Cross managing the IDPs camps in the S.O.Es, stressing that the body in collaboration with UNHCR have trained 30 camp managers and officials including doctors and nurses in camp coordination and camp management.

The director-general explained that the last displacement-tracking matrix conducted by the agency in collaboration with the International Office for Migration (IOM) concluded on June 30 2015 puts the total number of IDPs in Borno (1,002,437), Yobe (125,484), Adamawa (113,437), Bauchi (76,504), Gombe (16,984) and Taraba (20,501).

He said out of the total numbers of displacement in the northeast which represent 95 per cent was due to the insurgency while 5 per cent was due to communal clashes.

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