BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Tuesday, donated 20 health kits to cater for the three months health needs of 10,000 victims of the recent Benue flood disaster.
Transmission Station, Radio Benue, Makurdi, that was Flooded following a downpour in Makurdi.
The relief materials which comprised various brands of drugs and medicaments was part of the intervention and support of the world body to the victims of the devastation who are currently taking refuge at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Makurdi.
Presenting the items to the Benue state government, the UNICEF Health Specialist (Immunization) Enugu Field Office, Dr. Ifeyinwa Anyanyo said the items would go a long way to address the health needs of the IDPs.
Dr. Anyanyo said, “today we have donated 20 health kits to take care of the three months health needs of 10,000 victims of the flood disaster in Benue state.
“We commend every other development partner here present, the Nigerian Air Force, the Red Cross, Civil Society Organizations, though I cannot mention all of them but I must commend the Benue state government for it timely intervention and for doing much for the displaced persons,
“This gesture is obviously a sign of better things to come. We just want to reiterate that we will alway extend our support whenever this kind of situation arises.
“I must state here that the presence of UNICEF in the states is essentially to support women and children, to ensure protection for the lives of women and children.
“Moreover, whenever we have this kind of situation we always rise to the call to ensure that we do our own bit and to also motivate the state and stakeholders.
“In this present situation, UNICEF has also supported in drilling a borehole in the camp, we have also supported in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in the camp to ensure that people do not engage in open defecation.
“Beyond the kits, we have been here working with the medical team in the camp to monitor the cases they have been recording in order to ensure that we don’t have an outbreak of diseases here.
“We have also provided two water tankers and water bladders of 5,000 liters capacity, and so till date we have provided 13,000 liters of water to the camp.
Speaking at the occasion, Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Kumba commended the world body for its swift intervention in every emergency situation the state.
Speaking further Dr. Kamba said, “I am not surprised about what UNICEF has done, I call them partners in progress.
“Anytime we have an emergency in Benue state, not just the flood alone, the first donor partner that reacts is UNICEF.
“They demonstrated this in 2012 when we had a major flood in the state by helping the government set up three camps in the state. And today they are here for us again.
“I recall that when we had cholera outbreak in the state they did a similar thing. Today they have come here to assist us as usual. It is an organisation that is very responsible.
“Their donations are very useful to us as a people, we deeply appreciate them for always being there for the victims at their time of need.”
Receiving the items on behalf of the state government, the Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Dr. Terlumun Utsev lauded UNICEF for the gesture.
Dr. Utsev said, “UNICEF has been partnering Benue state and they have doing perfectly well as you can see. They have alway intervened in the area of water, drugs, sanitation and in other areas of need.
“UNICEF has been doing a lot for the people of Benue state. In the provision of boreholes in Benue communities and as you can see they have dug one in this camp already.
“When you talk about zero open defecation in Benue, UNICEF has always been in the forefront of that campaign. They are doing much for us and given the importance of their intervention in Benue state, our Governor, Samuel Ortom has alway given priority attention to anything that concerns the world body in view of the pride of place the organization occupies in the scheme of things in the state.
“We are very happy, today they have come again to demonstrate the wonderful gesture they have always extended to our state.
“Please extend our appreciation to the hierarchy of your organization. We deeply appreciate this gesture. Benue state would continue to partner UNICEF. The state will in return also ensure timely payment of its counterpart funding to the organisation.
“The people of the state and particularly the flood victims are happy for this intervention which will be of immense benefit to them.
This visit is very timely, they had earlier brought a lot for the victims, including water treatment tablets, beddings and lots more.
“They have been doing do much. Today they have presented to the government medical items for 10,000 person that will last for three months, this gesture is wonderful and unprecedented, on behalf of the Governor of Benue state and the people of the state we are grateful for their numerous interventions in our state.”