The Society for Water and Sanitation says 34,986 Internally Displaced Persons are at risk Cholera outbreak in their camps in Benue state.
Mr Nanen Gangese, NEWSAN State Coordinator, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday, said this would happen if the government fails to meet their water and sanitation needs on time.
He explained that from the needs assessment conducted by the group, issues around lack of proper access to toilet and water have not been adequately tackled.
He said the group carried out the assessment to establish facts and figures to ascertain the level of WASH needs in the camps in line with the population of IDPs.
Quoting the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, Gangese said the population from the four camps stood at 34,986, with an immediate need to check incidents of open defecation.
“In the wake of farmers-herders conflicts in Benue state, thousands of people were displaced which led to the creation of IDP camps by the Benue state government.
“There is no gainsaying that wherever there is human habitation, the issue of access to clean and safe water in sufficient quantity, sanitation and hygiene must be taken seriously.
“The camps mentioned above in Guma and Makurdi LGAs are still experiencing a high level of the practice of open defecation, poor environmental sanitation and poor access to toilets by the IDPs.
“There is the need to construct more toilet facilities to cater for the teeming population of IDPs and embark on another intensive sensitisation of the IDPs on both personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.
“This is pertinent to avert the outbreak of cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, which are likely to occur if these steps are not taken.’’
The coordinator identified incident of broken pipes in six toilets in Abagena camps, noting that an epidemic outbreak could arise from polluted water sources from toilets and from open defecation.