Hope for Benue Victims
While the country mourns the recent loss of innocent lives claimed by the brutal, senseless and vicious attacks by Fulani cattle herdsmen, we have neglected the lives affected and forever changed by the attack.
The attacks by Fulani cattle herdsmen, which claimed the lives of many and left others maimed, has also driven men, women and children out of their homes and into displaced persons camps all over Benue state, Nigeria. Arm of hope foundation got wind of the plight of the victims in their camps and on the 7th of February, 2018, decided to pay a visit to the camps. On the way from Abuja to Makurdi, the journey which was estimated to have been a 5hrs road trip, took a rather distressing turn when the AHF team met an accident involving a bus conveying passengers. Two ladies were lost in the accident. The team halted their journey and offered help in conveying the injured passengers to the nearest hospital for medical attention. While at the hospital, AHF President met a young man with a fatal injury on one arm inflicted on him by the cattle herdsmen. The president assisted him until he was able to receive the medical care he needed.
A team consisting of the president and volunteers visited the mass grave site, where over eighty persons killed during the attack were laid to rest. The team then visited two out of the seven camps in a space of three days and the prevailing living situation was appalling, horrifying, shocking and inhumane to say the least. The atmosphere in each camp was helplessness and hopelessness, as some camps have never been visited with relief materials. These victims have no access to potable water and the water they currently drink is unimaginable, many haven’t taken a bath in weeks. Many of them are sick with all manner of ailments, children suffering from kwashiorkor with their stomachs bloated as a result of malnutrition, nursing mothers had also had their babies in the camps with no access to medical care, and they have no toilet facility and children loitering because there are no educational facilities in the camps.
AHF president swung into action soliciting for funds and relief materials for the victims. The team noticed the immediate needs of the displaced persons and purchased hundreds of drinking cups, bathing buckets, mats and sleeping mattresses, bags of rice and beans and so on. The purchased items were shared to over two thousand persons in the first two camps visited by the president (Daudu and Agan Camps).
After the initial visit, the outcry and uproar on AHF social media and other platforms drew attention to the situation and people started giving their donations from clothes for adults and children to shoes, baby things, books, wrappers, towels, blankets etc. The foundation was able to procure treated mosquito nets in cartons, cartons of beverages, cartons of indomie, bags of rice and beans, drugs and so on for the victims. The president has also made available seven (7) tents, Six (6) to be used for temporary schools; the primary students will take their lessons in the morning, while secondary schools take their lessons in the evenings and the last tent for a medical center, to cater to the medical needs of the victims. The president in collaboration with AHF partners and sponsors has drilled a borehole to provide potable water in Agan camp.
Despite the laudable efforts made by the foundation and her partners, there still isn’t enough to cater for these victims in the seven camps. They are still in need of so much including food items, drugs, clothes, books and learning materials, torch lights, baby and nursing mother facilities, blankets, mosquito nets etc. We are making a passionate plea and asking that you reach out and make your donations in cash and kind to help these victims pick up the pieces of their lives.