LAGOS: AN international humanitarian institution expressed alarm at the living conditions of victims that have fled terror in the Borno State to seek sanctuary on the islands of Lake Chad.
“The situation of displaced people on the islands of Lake Chad remains particularly worrying. Access is still a problem: logistical challenges and security considerations prevent humanitarian workers from reaching all of those in need,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
The organisation, in conjunction with the Nigerian Red Cross, has been distributing aid the islands of Atchabassonori, Kwikléwa, Ali Mandoula, Gadira, Kandahar Hamidou, Kandahar Yacine, and Kachimba.
It said at other refugee settlement, such as Diffa, the large number of displaced persons and very difficult living conditions increase the health risks associated with the spread of diseases with high epidemic potential.
In Bosso, ICRC said, the proximity of the Yobe River, an arm of Lake Chad, leads to increased health risks. The water from boreholes in the area is particularly ferruginous and, put off by its reddish colour, people sometimes prefer to get their water directly from the lake, despite the health threats.
“We are very concerned about the number of displaced people arriving in recent weeks and above all their extreme vulnerability,” said Loukas Petridis, head of the ICRC delegation in Niger.
“Some are wounded, some are sick, some have lost contact with the rest of their family. Most of them have been directly affected by the violence and have lost their belongings and their livelihoods,” he added.
More than ever, the ICRC said it was with the Red Crescent Movement remains mobilized and prepared to provide protection and assistance to people fleeing the conflict and violence in north-eastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram has killed more than 5 000 civilians between July 2009 and June 2014 as well as displacing scores more. Such attacks have escalated in the Borno State in recent weeks.
SOUREC: CAJ NEWS AGENCY