No fewer than 5000 Cameroonian refugees living in Camps, rural and urban areas in Cross River, Benue as well as Taraba states and Abuja at the weekend received food item worth million of naira from Community Refugee Relief Initiative, CRRI & The Fomunyoh Foundation, TFF.
The gesture NEGROIDHAVEN learned was part of efforts to support them (Refugees) and also ameliorate their sufferings following the crisis that has ensued in their mother land for about 5 years leaving them no option than to seek refuge in other neighbouring countries with Nigeria housing about 80,000 of them.
The distribution which took place weekend, in four local governments in Cross River including Ikom, Calabar Municipality, Akamkpa, and Ogoja as well as Benue and Abuja took care of 500 hundred household at each point.
Also the distribution took place place at Cameroonian refugee urban/rural centres as well as camps including Calabar, Oban, Akor, Okende Refugee camp at Ogoja, Adagom I & III, Ajasor Basua in Ikom, then Ikyogen in Benue and Abuja FCT.
The items distributed include bags of rice, bags of garri, vegetables oil, cartons of noodles, fruit juice, cartons of biscuits amongst others.
Speaking with our correspondent shortly after the distribution, the Chairman Board of Directors, CRRI, Dr Celestine Atangcho said the situation was terrible and saddening but they can’t lose hope adding that they will keep supporting in the little ways they can.
Dr. Atangcho further said that the population of the people was on the increase as more people are coming in to join their brothers and sisters here in Nigeria due to the crisis at home.
He said CRRI and TFF though it necessary to reach out to them and food was an essential item which was why they decided to distribute food items to as many as people.
His words: “On the sad note, the whole situation is still the same, it’s even more dire because of the population increase and the people still need food. On a positive note, a lot of these refugees have been involved in livelihood programmes to be financially independent.
There is need to reach out to our people and food is very essential nite imp was still on and food was an essential part for survival.
“We know that it might be impossible to reach out to the over 80,000 Cameroonian living in Nigeria, but the little we can do to ameliorate their sufferings may not be enough but will go a very long way,” Atangcho said.
On his part, the President & Founder of TFF, Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh said he has on behalf of the foundation paid attention to providing support to people who had been impacted by the crisis.
His words: “We are intervening both on the home front, internally displaced persons who have abandoned their villages, their towns of residence, their regions and are now living in other parts of the country and abroad.
“Some who have abandoned their villages and are living in the capital cities of their original regions I’m just reaching out to this people and helping them to get a wellbeing; to survive on a daily basis, hoping that sooner or later the crisis will be resolved.
“I am loaded with emotions because on the one hand, I’m terribly sad to see that the people that were living peacefully in their villages, in their home towns and going about their businesses; some as farmers, other as petty traders, others as professionals are now in a foreign land through no fault of theirs, through a conflict they didn’t request.
“I’m saddened to see how lives are being wasted gradually just because of the challenges that these people go through. Old men, people with physical disabilities, women, children; I’m moved by their resilience, the fact that despite their environment, they’re still hopeful about the future, they’re still hoping that peace will return and they will be able to return to their respective homes.
“The least we can do is to support them no matter how small it seems ,I am glad that they still can afford a smile, they can even afford to dance and so you’re moved by that, you’re impacted by that.
“We joined CRRI in their food drive so we can also support our people here in Nigeria .From my conversation with CRRI I discovered that hunger was one of the biggest threats to livelihood in the refugee camps.That the population has grown by kids that are born in the camps that now need food, that more population that escape overtime,” he said.
On thier part ,One of the Refugees who benefitted from the food drive,Ojong Ojong said he was really delighted and pleased with the magnanimity exhibited by CRRI and TFF, we never expected it.
“Because of the pandemic we never knew that we would be remembered by this cailbre of persons who are busy and living far away from us,so we feel loved and their gesture has rekindled our hope that we shall one day go back home.
“When you calculate all that each household is getting is about 10 to 15,000 naira worth of food including, rice, garri, noodles, vegetable oil amongst others, we are greatful,” he said.