Tag Archives: IDPs

COVID-19: WHO calls for inclusion of IDPs in virus fight.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for the inclusion of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)in the fight against COVID-19.

The UN health agency made the call on its Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, official twitter account, @WHOAFRO, on Saturday, to commemorate the World Refugee Day.

World Refugee Day is an international event, held on June 22 every year, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

“We call for the interests of refugees and IDPs to be included in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No one must be left behind; everyone deserves access to food, sanitation and healthcare,’’ it said.


WHO, however, thanked all refugees and migrants who were working with host communities to respond to COVID-19.

Similarly, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.Director-General of WHO, in a tweet, said the UN health agency was concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in refugee camps.

“WHO is deeply concerned about the very real and present danger of widespread transmission of COVID19 in refugee camps, as refugees often have limited access to adequate shelter, water, nutrition, sanitation and health services,” he said.


Also, in a message to commemorate the day, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said refugees and IDPs were among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The secretary-general commended them for stepping up on the frontlines of response.

“From camps in Bangladesh to hospitals in Europe, refugees are working as nurses, doctors, scientists, teachers and in other essential roles, protecting themselves and giving back to the communities that host them.

“On World Refugee Day, we thank refugees for their resourcefulness and determination to rebuild their own lives, and to improve the lives of those around them,” he said.


In a recent policy brief, Guterres urged governments to ensure “people on the move” were included in pandemic response and recovery.

In addition, he called on countries to end conflict that drove “appalling displacement numbers.”

He reminded countries of their fundamental obligation to protect the nearly 80 million people worldwide forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution and other crises.

The UN chief also praised the nations and communities hosting refugees and internally displaced people often amid their own economic and security challenges.


“We owe these countries our thanks, our support and our investment,” he said.

He quoted the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, as having reported on Thursday that global displacement was at a record high.

“Figures reached 79.5 million in 2019, with 10 million people fleeing in the past year alone.

“On World Refugee Day, we pledge to do everything in our power to end the conflict and persecution that drive these appalling numbers,” Guterres said.



Tarkwa Bay: The Loss ..

The Tarkwa Bay Beach is touted as one of the cleanest and most peaceful beaches in Lagos. A major tourist site that sees a lot of visits and offers a getaway from the hustle of Lagos, may no longer be available to the public.

The Tarkwa Bay island beach has been in existence since 1960. On the outskirts of the island is a 110 year old Lighthouse on Lighthouse Beach.

The Lighthouse after which Lighthouse beach is named.

Tarkwa Bay has remained largely undeveloped in spite of its tourist attractions and the rate of development in other parts of the area. Opposite the bay is the Eko Atlantic Housing project.

Tarkwa bay with Eko Atlantic on the horizon

There’s a community of people who live on the island. Occupations on the island include Fishing, Water transportation, Petty trading, Chalet Keepers, Gardeners, Civil Servants, Oil Workers (NNPC), Vessel Workers, Canopy Rentals, Mini Restaurant / Bar Operators, Security Guards, Fashion Designers, Baggage Handlers, Craftsmen and general artisans.

A fisherman on Tarkwa bay

On January 21 2020, officials of the Nigerian Navy stormed into the Tarkwa Bay community, firing shots into the air and gave the residents one hour to vacate the island.

Soldiers on Tarkwa bay.

The residents were being evicted on claims of vandalism and illegal drilling of pipelines. There were openly dug pits across the edge of the island, containing oil and water. Some reports say that the vandalism occurred off the island, but the residents did not report the illegal acts.

Soldiers on Tarkwa bay.

The Beach is only accessible by ferries and canoes, these poor residents had to quickly evacuate the island without having enough notice from the naval officers who chased them out.

Displaced Tarkwa bay resident

All these people have been displaced with no alternative source of accommodation or compensation provided by the government following the evacuation. This is an infringement of the basic rights of the residents. It is also against international treaties that Nigeria has agreed to be bound by.

Residents of Tarkwa Bay left stranded with their belongings

Displaced residents of Tarkwa Bay with their belongings.

The beautiful island of Tarkwa bay that has been a favourite getaway spot for many Lagosians will no longer be available for the public.

Surfers in Tarkwa bay.

These people lost not only their homes but also their means of livelihood. Those who were fishermen have lost access to the water.

The Tarkwa Bay beach is not the first to suffer this kind of illegal eviction, several other communities like this have been affected by the eviction actions of Nigerian Navy officials.


FG set to stop distributing relief materials to IDPs come 2020.

The federal government may have concluded plans to discontinue free distribution of relief materials to an estimated 2.4million Internally Displaced Persons in rehabilitation camps across the country.

The Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons(NCFRMI), Senator Basheer Mohammed gave the hints Monday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. NobleReporters learnt

According to him, from first quarter of 2020, State governments will assist the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in reintegrating the IDPs to their original settlements.

He said the strategy for the reintegration of the IDPs going forward would be to provide care, maintenance and durable solutions to the needs of the displaced, most of whom were forced out of their original communities by insurgency.

Mohammed said, “The Commission has deemed it necessary to move from the provision of relief items to care, maintenance and durable solutions that will reintegrate our persons of concern (POCs) into normal lives where they can thrive.

“We currently have 2.4million IDPs in camps and host communities across the country. Though stability has been restored in many areas that generated the IDPs, the persons of concern are unable to return home for lack of durable solutions to ensure their smooth reintegration.

“In 2020, my first point of action will be to work with state governors to return and reintegrate IDPs to their communities, it is time that they begin to live normal lives and feel the pulse of a growing Nigeria.

Senator Basheer Mohammed

“Recognizing the need for education at every level and the special needs of IDPs, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons will build educational learning centres in all IDP camps.

“This will encourage learning in children unable to attend regular schools and those with special needs due to the trauma of displacement.”


COCIN president – We will ensure properties of IDPs in plateau recovered.

The President, Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev Dr Dachollom Datiri, has assured Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State of the church’s support to enable them reclaim their stolen lands.

He urged the federal and state governments to provide adequate security for safe return of the IDPs in to their homes.

Rev Datiri stated this during the official flag-off and distribution of relief materials, comprising of roofing zincs, nails, cements and fertilizers in collaboration with the Hungarian Government for IDPs who were displaced in June 2018 in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area.

“We will do everything possible to assist you to return to your homes. You must not abandon your villages for foreigners who are bent on taking over your land forcefully,” he said.

“I urged government at all levels to provide security in all affected communities in Plateau, particularly villages that were destroyed in June 2018 to enable the people return. It is the responsibility of government to protect lives and property of the citizens.

“You must take advantage of the relief materials provided to you by the Hungarian Government in collaboration with COCIN Church to go and start rebuilding your burnt houses. You must not abandon your villages to strangers who fight to forcefully take over your land.

“These materials are provided by the Hungarian Government for people who were affected by the crisis in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area in June 2018, and people of Goza in Borno State for proper relocation and rehabilitation.”

He noted that the church was demoralised with the crisis that rocked Gashish in June 2018 when women, children and the aged were seen languishing in Internally Displaced Persons camps across the state.

“You have suffered and stayed homeless, living in the cold with children after the crisis, but hope came our way with the intervention of God. We made contact with the Hungarian Government, and today they have provided us with building materials to commence the rebuilding of our homes.”

COCIN Director of Health Dr Nantok Dami said the materials were provided by the Hungarian Government to assist the persecuted church in Plateau and Borno states.

IDPs / Internally Displaced Persons

Dr Dami said the Hungarian Government presented 2,700 bags of cement, 1,710 bags of fertilizer, 1,900 bundles of zinks and 1,425 packets of zink nails for affected people in Barkin-Ladi LGA in Plateau and Goza community in Borno State.

He explained that for Plateau, the items were shipped between the affected persons in Ropp and Gashish in Plateau, and each household went home with 3 bundles of zincs, 3 bags of fertilizer, four bags of cement, two packets of zinc nails to commence the reconstruction of their burnt houses.


Now – Plateau Government Resettled Internally Displaced Person.

The Plateau State Government has resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resident at the Hall of Geosciences in Anguldi, Jos, back to their home communities. They had been until given December 31 to vacate to their respective communities in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state.

Secretary to the Government of Plateau State, Prof Danladi Atu, who is the head of a high-powered government committee on the resettlement of the IDPs in the state, disclosed this in Jos, adding that the resettlement and rehabilitation would be carried out in three phases.

He said the state government will ensure that all IDPs who have indicated interest to go back to their various home communities in the state will be relocated.

“We have out in place machinery to resettle IDPs on the state,” he said. “The first phase would be security provisioning, which would be done by a combined team of the Nigerian Police, Operation Safe Have (OPSH), Operation Rainbow, Neighborhood Watch, Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) and other security outfits to create the enabling environment for the second phase: the reconstruction of burnt down houses and economic empowerment.”

Prof Atu explained that the third phase was the provision of basic social amenities such as feeder roads, pipe borne water, reconstruction of schools and healthcare facilities, as well as the reintegration of communities affected by the crises of the recent past.

“I am calling on all stakeholders, particularly Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), corporate individuals and other [public] spirited individuals to join hands with the state government in ensuring that the IDPs are resettled within a short period of time.

“We commend the Plateau State Governor, Rt Hon Simon Lalong for his forthrightness at peace building and employing inclusive governance, which has paved the way for the return of peace in the state, especially to troubled spots.”

Prof Atu performed the symbolic presentation of assorted food items, building materials such as cement, bundles of corrugated zinc, wood, nails and other agricultural implements like water pumping machine, etc, to the returnees, stressing that government took the decision to provide them with the items in order to allow them reconstruct their homes to suit their needs.

The chairmen of Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas, Hon Ezekiel Mandyau and Hon Mafeng Gwalson both expressed delight over the development, describing it as timely.

According to them, the people had stayed away from their homes and sources of livelihood for a period between one and seven years.

They urged both the state and federal governments to do more to assuage the plight of the IDPs, whom they lamented had lost love ones, especially bread winners and even sources of livelihood, to get back on their feet

Hon Dachollom Jambol, speaking on behalf of the returnees at Riyom LGA, called on the state government to ensure that adequate security was provided for them, stressing that most of the returnees have no homes to go back.

Mrs Abigail Chung and Mr Moses Rwang, both returnees, said they were returning back to their communities to rebuild their lives, having been displaced for more than three and four years, respectively.

The Da Gwom Rwei of Riyom District, Da Sam Jok, on his part, expressed satisfaction with the relocation, saying that the people who were once productive and industrious can now go back to their vocations and trades.

Da Jok promised to continue to work closely with their Fulani counterparts in the locality to curb crime and criminality, while ensuring that the factors which led to the violence of the past are addressed collectively.


Benue: IDPs Gifted Food In Guma And Makurdi By ICRC.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has donated food items to over 80,000 internally displaced persons in Guma and Makurdi local government areas of Benue State.

The Committee is also carrying out a livestock de-worming campaign, which has reached over 100,000 cattle and other small ruminants belonging to pastoralist communities affected by violence in Nasarawa State.

The assistance, according to Majid Bakhtiary, Head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Jos, were provided to alleviate the suffering of people in the affected areas.

“The humanitarian situation here is difficult, and the ICRC helps the most vulnerable communities,” Bakhtiary said.

Daily Sun gathered that the six weeks de-worming campaign which aims to improve the health condition of about 100,000 cattle and 40,000 sheep and goats of livestock owners, started on November 12 in Awe, Keana and Nasarawa local government areas of the state.

At the same time, the ICRC in collaboration with the Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) concluded food distribution to some 80,000 people in displacement camps in Guma and Makurdi local government areas.

Additionally, the ICRC in partnership with the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services in Plateau State trained 160 people, among them NRCS volunteers, community animal health workers and community leaders.

The training covered basic animal disease and treatment that would enable participants to assist livestock herders in remote areas where veterinary services are not available.

Bakhtiary recalled that in November, 25 veterinarians and community animal health workers from 20 states received training in Abuja on livestock emergency guidelines to treat animal disease in conflict-affected areas.