by crossriverwatch admin
Bakassi returnees camping in Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem have been re displaced following a devastating windstorm that ravaged the school building in St Mark’s Primary School used as a temporary camp since March 7, 2013.
The windstorm which occurred on May 18 at about 4pm de-roofed a 4 classroom block exposing the over 2000 returnees to inclement weather.
The rains that accompanied the storm aggravated their problems as the returnees which included women and children were in-undated. Mattresses, sleeping mats, cloths and other personal belonging were reportedly soaked making life unbearable for the people.
Also pathetic was the destruction of food stuff such as garri, rice beans, salt and other perishable items subjecting the returnees to unprecedented trauma.
When our correspondent visited the camp it was observed that mattresses, clothes, mat, foodstuffs were spread out in the sun to dry even though the rainy weather showed no hope of respite.
The camp Coordinate Okon Ene said that it was a pathetic scenario as the people never envisaged such devastation when they took shelter in the building only for the storm to blow off the roof.
“We had to gather the children and women to some safer corners while the men had to work throughout the night trying to salvage their property”
Assessing the damage the Director-General, State, Emergency Management Agency SEMA, Mr Vincent Aquah Calabar said frantic arrangements were being made to relocate the returnees to a safer area as he was aware of possible weather diseases such as colds that could affect the people.
The returnees numbering over 2,000 had on March 7 fled to Ikot Eyo Edem in Akpabuyo – a Nigeria –Cameroon border community following alleged incessant harassment by the Cameroon authorities which forced them out of their ancestral home, Efut Obot Ikot, in the ceded Bakassi peninsula.
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