The Sun News

Australia intervenes in North East’s food crisis 

•IDPs face water shortage in Muna camp

From Fred Ezeh and Samuel Bello, Abuja 

Worried by growing cases of malnutrition in the North East, as direct consequence of  Boko Haram activities, the Australian government, through its High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Lehmann, has offered to assist in providing food and other basic relief items to thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps. 

To achieve this, the government has engaged a non-governmental organisation, Empower 54, to start small scale food production for humanitarian purposes to the IDPs. 

At a news conference in Abuja, yesterday, Lehmann announced a grant of N11,712,624 has been provided to an initiative that would establish a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) production programme for outreach to the IDPs. The amount, he said, would be used to purchase ingredients, machinery and train production staff, to enable them produce the RUTF, for onward distribution to the beneficiaries, at no cost. 

The Australian government said the project will save an estimated 12,000 malnourished children in the North East, annually. 

Lehmann added that it is in the character of the Australian government to assist in solving food crisis in any country that experienced crisis of any form. 

He made reference to a previous Direct Aid Programme (DAP) in Nigeria, which, according to him, the Australian government provided N217, 000, 000 to 25 organisations to build a prosperous and inclusive Nigeria.   “This funding is directed at assisting people in a range of sector including education, agriculture, health, good governance, water and sanitation. DAP has a particular focus in helping most vulnerable members of the society, women, children and persons with disabilities.”

Meanwhile, IDPs are reportedly facing water shortage in Muna camp, located in Maiduguri, after one of its five solar-powered water pumps broke down.

Camp Coordinator, Tijjani Lumani said the camp is facing   “serious water shortage” and added that “four other pumps in the camp are inadequate.”  Muna camp, on the edge of the city, is currently home to some 41, 000 people, Lumani said. The water drawn up from boreholes is used for cooking and, crucially, washing to prevent the spread of disease through the densely populated camp of makeshift tents.

One aid worker involved in sanitation and health projects for IDPs living in Maiduguri described the water situation at Muna camp as “chronic. “The water shortage poses a serious health risk to IDPs because they may have to turn to other unclean water sources, which exposes them to water-borne infections like cholera and diarrhoea, said the aid worker who asked not to be identified.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, confirmed on Sunday that there was “breakdown of water supply” at the camp but aded that engineers were trying to fix the problem. “The State Emergency Management Agency has so far supplied 105,000 litres of water using trucks,” said Shetima in a statement on his Facebook page.

Australian govt /sd

Australian intervenes in North East’s food crisis

•IDPs face water shortage

From Fred Ezeh and Samuel Bello, Abuja

Worried by the growing cases of malnutrition in the North East, as direct consequence of  Boko Haram activities, the Australian government, through its High Commission in Nigeria, has offered to assist in providing food and other basic relief items to thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps.

To achieve this, the government has engaged a non-governmental organisation, Empower 54, to start small scale food production for humanitarian purposes to the IDPs.

Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Lehmann, at a news conference in Abuja, yesterday, announced that a grant of N11,712,624 has been provided to an initiative that would establish a Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) production programme for outreach to the IDPs.

The amount, according to the diplomat, would be used to but ingredients, machinery and train production staff, to enable them produce the RUTF, for onward distribution to the beneficiaries, at no cost.

The Australian government said it is convinced that the project would save an estimated 12, 000 malnourished children in the North East, annually.

Lehmann added that it is in the character of the Australian government to assist in solving food crisis in any country that experienced crisis of any form.

He made reference to a previous Direct Aid Programme (DAP) in Nigeria, which, according to him, the Australian government provided N217, 000, 000 to 25 organisations to build a prosperous and inclusive Nigeria.

“This funding is directed at assisting people in a range of sector including education, agriculture, health, good governance, water and sanitation. DAP has a particular focus in helping most vulnerable members of the society women, children and persons with disabilities.”

Meanwhile, IDPs are reportedly facing water shortage in Muna camp, located in Maiduguri, after one of its five solar-powered water pumps broke down.

Camp Coordinator, Tijjani Lumani said the camp is facing   “serious water shortage” and added that “four other pumps in the camp are inadequate.Muna camp, on the edge of the city, is currently home to some 41, 000 people, Lumani said.The water drawn up from boreholes is used for cooking and, crucially, washing to prevent the spread of disease through the densely populated camp of makeshift tents.One aid worker involved in sanitation and health projects for IDPs living in Maiduguri described the water situation at Muna camp as “chronic.“The water shortage poses a serious health risk to IDPs because they may have to turn to other unclean water sources, which exposes them to water-borne infections like cholera and diarrhoea.“The situation is more alarming when malnourished children are involved,” said the aid worker, who asked not to be identified.Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, confirmed on Sunday that there was “breakdown of water supply” at the camp but engineers were trying to fix the problem.“The State Emergency Management Agency has so far supplied 105,000 litres of water using trucks,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page.

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