Benue Government says the Federal Government is building 200 low-cost houses for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the state.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mr Aondowase Kunde, disclosed this to newsmen on Friday in Makurdi.
Mr Kunde said that the 200 low-cost houses would be built in clusters across the eight most-devastated local government areas of the state.
He said the state government had carried out extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, especially the traditional council, religious leaders and displaced persons, amongst others before arriving at the decision.
The commissioner said that the IDPs had agreed to return to the cluster houses that would be built, adding that schools, hospitals and other social amenities would also be provided for them.
He said that the state government would support the federal government by providing land, labour and other things needed within the areas for the success of the project.
He further stated that the locals in the affected communities would build the houses themselves, while the federal government would provide the funds and supervision.
According to him, the IDPs are already in the process of clearing the area at Tatyoo, Mbagwen, Makurdi Local Government Area, for the construction of the houses in the area, adding that they would be paid for the job.
“I was asked to clear the area within 24 hours for the construction of the first phase of cluster resettlement homes in Tatyo, Mbagwen and at the Ichwa IDPs camp. The minister added another 20 houses, making it 40 homes in the first phase.
“Altogether, the federal government is building 200 houses for the IDPs in Benue State.
“The traditional rulers have allocated lands in the eight affected LGs for this project. The Tiv Traditional Council has also approved cluster settlements.
“In the nearest future, with our scattered ways of settlements, we may not have land for farming anymore, but with cluster settlements, we will continue to have adequate land for our farming activities,” he said.
Kunde commended the federal government for declaring a state of emergency on the humanitarian crises in the state, adding that the situation has gone beyond what the state could handle.
He expressed the regret that before the assumption of office of Gov. Hyacinth Alia, the state had no humanitarian history.
The commissioner said that at the moment, that there were 21 camps for IDPs in six council areas, adding that the people of Kwande and Agatu had, over time, refused to stay in camps, but with people across the state.
On palliatives, he said that the state government was putting everything together to ensure appropriate and efficient distribution of the palliatives to the people in the next two weeks.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, had, on Thursday, flagged off the construction of the resettlement homes for IDPs in the state.
Edu had also requested development partners, donor agencies and humanitarian partners to immediately deploy and intervene in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the state.
She said that the order had become imperative, following the magnitude of the sufferings being faced by IDPs in the state.
The minister said that the federal government would officially write the development partners, donor agencies and other humanitarian partners within and outside the country on the need for their immediate intervention in humanitarian crisis in the state.