AS the world celebrates the importance of hand washing with soap and water, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing at Gongola camp in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, have no potable water, as well as toilets.
According to NAN, this was revealed when a team of the National Task Group on Sanitation and non-governmental organisations like WaterAid and Action Against Hunger, visited the camp on Monday to mark the 2018 hand washing day.
Joseph Jauro, the camp chairman, said there was no accessible water in the camp. He recounted numerous cases of diarrhoea and cholera cases and deaths among under-five-year-old children, saying this has been linked to poor sources of drinking water.
While narrating the difficulty in getting water in the camp, Jauro said the free source of water is a stream where many women have been bitten by snakes while sourcing for it.
He added some water vendors which are called “mai ruwa” sell water to displaced persons at N20 per a 20-litre of cans.
“There are times when you do not have the money to buy the water, you end up going to the stream to fetch the water the way it is,” the camp chairman said.
He called for immediate interventions from relevant stakeholders, saying this was necessary to forestall terrible incidents.
“The issue we have in this camp is malaria, cholera and snake bites, because of the bushes around, there are times when they come into your room, two women have been bitten so far.
“We want the government to help us, to alleviate our sufferings in this camp, how can we call ourselves Nigerians when we do not have the basic necessities of life’’, Jauro said.
The WaterAid, in a statement on its website, says 59 million Nigerians have no access to clean water, representing one in every three persons.