Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria

The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, on Saturday donated improved seedlings to 50 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Ban, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA), of Plateau.

Presenting the seedlings, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Gana, the Assistant Coordinator of the NGO, said the gesture was aimed at alleviating the sufferings of the IDPs.

Gana, who said the gesture was supported by the Irish Aid, added that it would also encourage the IDPs, particularly those of them who are farmers to have more and better yields.

He said by supporting displaced persons to go into farming, it would enable them to fend for themselves and increase their personal income; as well as that of the state.

“We were here shortly before Christmas and donated food items to you, today we have come again, but to support you with some improved seedlings and seeds to support your farming activities.

“We all know that majority of you are farmers, and now that you are gradually returning to your homes, we feel it is right to support you with these to encourage your farming activities.

“We cannot continue to feed you forever, but teaching or encouraging you to feed yourselves is better and more rewarding.

“So, after a careful assessment, we have selected 50 farmers among you to start with, and have come with improved seedlings of Irish potatoes, seeds of tomato, cabbage, and maize to give them,” he said.

The Assistant Coordinator urged the beneficiaries to ensure the seedlings were put into good for their personal benefit, and the community at large.

He warned that anyone caught selling the seedlings would be blacklisted and denied any further support from the organisation.

Meanwhile, the organisation also donated sundry items to 340 displaced households in Bokkos LGA camps.

Gana, who presented the items, also said the gesture was aimed at encouraging them to maintain personal hygiene and sanitation.

The items donated include bathing and washing soaps, body creams, detergents, towels and blankets, among others

He said poor personal hygiene and sanitation accounted for the continued spread of communicable diseases, particularly among rural dwellers.

In separate responses on behalf of the beneficiaries, the camp leaders, Mr Irimiya Magit and Mr Mandong John thanked JDPC for the gesture and assured the organisation that the items would be used judiciously.

They called on the government to support them in rebuilding their communities as they were eager to return to their homes.