As Cameroon Ambazonians separatist group and the central government in Yaounde continue in bloody conflict, over 10,000 refugees from the central African state have overwhelmed facilities in two refugee camps in Obubra local government area of Cross River state, with attendant fear of epidemics.
This was made known by Mr Hilary Agida, an official of the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) who said the camps which were originally built to accommodate about 4,000 persons were now housing more than 10,000 Cameroonian refugees, and that more were arriving on daily basis.
Agida, who feared there could be breakdown of infrastructure any moment as the number was gradually overwhelming facilities on ground, further noted that the burden was too heavy for the state government alone to shoulder.
Speaking while receiving members of a socio-cultural organisation, National Association of Sea Dogs, which visited the camp to donate food items to the refugees, Agida lamented that after the influx had over stretched the facilities in the first camp, additional camp was created to accommodate the influx but that the new one had also been taken over fully by refugees.
He said: “There are two refugee camps here in Ogoja, one is in Adagom and the other at Akpakpanga and both camps have been witnessing steady influx of refugees which has effectively overstretched the facilities. Something must be done to address the situation before we witness a disaster here.”
The SEMA official disclosed that the refugee camps were under the supervision of the United Nations, which he said registers refugees to ascertain the number of people displaced by the violence in southern Cameroon and therefore called on the world body and the federal government to do something about the situation urgently.
Donating the foodstuff to the refugees, zonal president of the National Association of Sea Dogs, Prince Joseph Besong said the donation of bags of rice, yams, garri and toiletries were to assist in the upkeep of the refugees.
“These people are living without any source of income and we feel it is necessary that we should extend some assistance to them by providing them some food items and provisions for their children,” he said, and called on the United Nations to step in and resolve the Cameroon conflict to enable Cross River government heave a sigh of relief.