Navy donates relief materials to 5,000 flood-displaced people in Rivers LG
The Nigeria Navy on Sunday distributed food and other relief items to about 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by flood in various communities in Ahoada, Rivers.
Commander of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder Port Harcourt, Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim delivered the palliatives to the victims at the Central IDP Camp in Ahoada.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that relief items were bags of rice, beans, and garri, tubers of yams and several cartons of noodles.
Others were sachets of assorted seasonings, bags of sachet water, different types of medications, yoghurts and biscuits for children in the camp.
Addressing the IDPs, Commodore Ibrahim said the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Awwal Gambo was worried about the plight of those affected by flood in the state and in the country at large.
“The Chief of Naval Staff directed that we distribute these relief items in collaboration with a private gas company, to ameliorate the pains of persons displaced by flood in Ahoada.
“The distribution of relief materials is borne out of our concerns for victims who had been displaced from their homes and sources of livelihoods.
“We are here to commiserate with the IDPs and to donate food and other palliatives to cater to the immediate needs of the victims,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said the navy would also carry out a second phase of distribution of palliatives after listening to the IDPs on their other needs.
“We have assessed the camps as well as interacted with the IDPs to know what their critical needs are.
“We will return in the next phase with relief materials that the IDPs need,’’ he assured.
NAN reports that navy officers distributed the relief items directly to the victims following allegations by the IDPs that their camp managers diverted palliatives from the state government and from other organisations.
The decision of the navy to distribute the relief items directly to the campers drew loud cheers and applause from the elated IDPs.
Chairman of the IDP Camp committee in Ahoada, Mr Gilbert Hamilton, denied the allegations and explained that the relief materials received earlier were not sufficient.
He said that displaced persons were pouring into the camp on a daily basis, a situation which further depleted the relief materials.
“The allegation that we are diverting relief items is not true because everything is being shared equally among the more than 5,000 IDPs in the camp.
“Our foods are further depleted by intruders, who come into the camps covertly to partake in the sharing of relief items with the real flood victims,’’ he said.
Hamilton added that the camp had less than 1,000 mattresses for the more than 5,000 campers, and called on government, non-governmental organisations and humane individuals to assist.