No fewer than 23 people have reportedly died at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State as a result of hypertension and depression within four months.
The Chairman of the Camp, Sa’ad Salisu, who disclosed this to journalists during a visit to the camp Monday, said 35 women also gave birth in the camp within the period under review.
The IDPs, who are currently taking refuge at Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jibia, were sent packing by terrorists from their ancestral communities of Kwari, Zango, Shimfida,Tsauni, Far Faru, Tsambe and Gurbin Magariya.
During the visit to the nondescript camp, THISDAY observed that the over 15,000 IDPs were all clustered together in different segments and life has not been easy for them as they clocked 100 days without seeing their homes.
They looked pale, hungry, waiting for the next handouts, while children, mostly infants, were on their mothers’ chest, who could hardly eat three square meals per day, for breast milk.
Salisu explained that over 3,000 children who are currently in the camp could not have access to learning facilities following the inability of the state government to provide makeshift school in the camp.
He said: “From Shimfida community alone, we have 8,000 displaced persons that are in this camp. In Far Faru, we have over 7,000 and about 200 are from Zango community but not all of us are sleeping here because of lack of mattresses, water, mats and mosquito nets.
“We have over 3,000 children in this camp who left their communities with school uniforms but now they cannot go to school because government haven’t provided school for them in the camp.
“Fifteen people, mostly women, died when we were camping at the Central Primary School, Jibia, as a result of hypertension. Eight children died while fleeing Shimfida to Jibia town in March this year. Also, 35 women gave birth in the camp.”
Salisu, who is also the Chairman of Shimfida Youth Development Association, called on the state government to restore security in their communities to enable them return and continue with their farming activities.
When contacted, the Jibia Local Government Chairman, Hon. Bishir Sabi’u, said government had provided adequate relief materials to the IDPs.
According to him, “15 bags of rice are been cooked for them in the camp daily. I do give them (IDPs) N200,000 weekly to support their daily activities in the camp.”
He, however, said 150 people including children are still in captivity, adding that communities within the local government are under siege and severe attacks by the rampaging terrorists.