By Tem Martin – Wednesday February 13, 2019.
Thousands of refugees from Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions camped in
A source also said the protest is as a result of several stored up grievances against the United Nations. There have been so many stored up grievances but the immediate cause of the protest was the none-distribution of Cash Based Intervention (CBI), National Telegraph has been told.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has been giving out seven thousand, two hundred
However, since December that they lastly gave out that amount, some people have not received anything since the start of 2019, refugee sources have said. Because of the hunger, they staged a protest demanding for food, another protester told National Telegraph.
Among other grievances the people said the CBI for education has not covered all the targeted students and pupils. Many are still not in school, our source has said.
According to UNHCR, they are still waiting for the updated school list before money is given to the beneficiaries. In addition, none of the higher education students have been attended to, confirmed a source.
The other areas constitute issues of shelter which are also causing uneasiness to others, mostly linked to registration as well as update of family household members. There are many in the camp who don’t have a shelter, National Telegraph has been hinted.
The issue of health care wherein the transition from Rhema Care to another partner is leaving the health situation of the refugees in jeopardy.
Many people have died of common ailments because of no resources. At a given time eight Refugees are said to have died in three weeks due to shortage of resources, our source added.
Refugees are also said to have raised the issue of mattresses where they decried the offer of one mattress per household or in some cases, at most two for a household of six.
Other refugees have recounted the difficulty in getting water. Because the camp depends on water that is fetched from outside with a tanker, people will go for days in some parts of the camp without water, National Telegraph has been told.
There is shortage every day and even the source of the water is not known. The people want UNHCR to drill more boreholes so as to have water whose source they can trust and that can be constant.
In another camp, refugees in Ajassor also staged a protest. Their own case is worse, a refugee noted. Refugees hold the grievance that for the past seven months the UNHCR is yet to give them food, money.
Refuges have carried placards implying that UN has completely abandoned them. Some have opined that they’ve gone for seven months without food.
Reports say since the
Over 3,000 Refugees in Akwa Ibom State since October 2017 that they began setting there have never received even a grain of rice from the UN, our source noted.
Other camps in some parts of Cross River State like Bashu, Orimekpang and other areas including many settlements in Taraba State, have aslo seen little or no UN presence.
Responding to the grievances of the people, our source confirmed UNHCR on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, increased the number of persons to receive CBI per day, making sure the CBI distribution resumed same Tuesday.
The Director General of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for Cross River State, John Enako was on ground same Tuesday. He spent long hours with refugees relating to partners concerned as the refugees laid their grievances.
Enako worked with UNHCR and refugees to arrive at a peaceful solution as things returned to normalcy with CBI distribution now ongoing. SEMA bridges with UNHCR to handle each category of complaints, directing them to appropriate partners, National Telegraph gathered.
UNHCR has also announced that CBI will spread to all the other Refugee settlements in Taraba, Akwa Ibom, Benue States, and areas like Ikom and Obanliku.
There are thousands of Cameroon refugees leaving in Nigeria who fled from gun battles between pro-government soldiers and Anglophone militias fighting to create a new country called Ambazonia.