Mr Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director, NRC says the management did not ground its train operations on the Warri-Itakpe rail corridor contrary to reports in some newspaper publications.
This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by the management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
The NRC said that the train services on the Ajaokuta station were only suspended temporarily due to reported communal clashes.
”The management of the NRC wishes to inform the general public, especially our numerous valued customers that the NRC did not ground its train operations as speculated in some quarters.
”The Warri- Itakpe train service is fully operational as scheduled, however there is a temporary suspension of passenger train stoppage at Ajaokuta station due to communal clashes, pending restoration of peace to the area.
”Passengers are advised to use any of the two adjacent stations Itakpe (North)bor Itogbo (South) until the restoration of the service,” Okhiria said.
He reiterated the directive of the transportation Minister, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, that the Abuja to Kaduna passenger train service would remain suspended.
According to him, it will not resume until all the passengers held hostage by bandits are completely released to their relations and the additional security system is put in place to avoid reoccurrence of the March 28 incident.
He also said the Lagos to Kano express passenger train would not resume operation following suspected bandits’ presence along the Minna to Kaduna rail corridor in the North Western district of the Corporation.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 2.59 billion dollars for the development of Badagry Deep Seaport in Lagos State.
The council also approved N2.6 billion for the procurement of utility vehicles and gadgets for security agencies operating in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Ministers of Transport, Muazu Sambo, and that of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammed Bello, made these known when they addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Sambo, the Badagry project will be executed out under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, saying the private sector will inject money into the port and manage it for 45 years.
He said: “I presented a memo at council, with respect to the development of the Badagry Deep Seaport, under the public private partnership arrangement, where the private sector will inject money for the development of the port and at the end of the concessionary period, the port reverts to the Nigerian government through the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“The project as approved by the council based on the final business case as approved earlier by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission in line with extant laws, stands at $2.59 billion.
“It is to be developed in four phases and the concessionary period is 45 years,” he stated.
Sambo said the decision taken by the government would further its goal of making Nigeria the maritime hub of the West and Central African regions.
According to him, the project will help Nigeria generate total revenue of 53.6 billion dollars over the concession period as well as create jobs and attract foreign direct investments, culminating with an enhancement of the wellbeing of Nigerians.
On his part, the FCT minister revealed that the council approved N2.6 billion for the procurement of utility vehicles and gadgets for security agencies to combat criminal activities across all the six area councils of the FCT.
He said: “Today, I presented a memo for the procurement of utility vehicles, security gadgets and accessories to support the security agencies operating within the Federal Capital Territory.
“These items are 60 utility vehicles, including communication equipment to be installed in the vehicles, to be supplied at the cost of N1,835,108,613,.
95 with a delivery period of two months.
” He also revealed that the FCT administration also got approval for the procurement of more working tools for security agencies responsible for securing the territory.
“In addition to that, the council also approved the supply of various security gadgets and accessories to support security agencies in the FCT at a total sum of N847,139,764.57,” he added.
Bello said the support given to the security agencies was in line with the FCT administration’s policy of aiding their work, so as to enhance security within the territory.
On recent attacks in some parts of the FCT, the minister assured residents that “there are tremendous efforts by all relevant authorities, to ensure that the FCT continues to enjoy lasting peace’’.
Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, revealed that council approved a new policy for the institutionalisation of the practice of monitoring and evaluation in Nigeria.
According to her, the programme is to be known as the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy.
He added that the progromme would go a long way to help improve the wellbeing of citizens and socio-economic development of the country She said: “Today, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a policy memo to Council and the memo is on the National Monitoring and Evaluation policy for the country.
“The policy defines a framework for the institutionalisation of the practice of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) to promote good governance, learning and accountability for results that will contribute to improve socio-economic development of the country and enhance the well-being of citizens.
“The policy clarifies how M&E should be conducted in the country; specify the position, institutional and financial arrangements and the modalities for feedback, especially from citizens so that decision makers can make effective use of evidence by government and stakeholders to inform policy strategies and investment.
’’ The minister added that the approved policy was developed in close collaboration with States of the Federation, development partners, academia and several experts as well as associations of monitoring and evaluation in Nigeria.
On the reported donation of security vehicles to Niger Republic by the Federal Government, the minister said the donation was made in the spirit of African brotherliness and being your brother’s keeper.
She said: “Over time, Nigeria has had to support its immediate neighbours to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us.
This is not the first time that Nigeria is supporting Niger, Cameroun or Chad. “The president makes an assessment as to what is required based on the request of their president, as such, the requests are approved and the interventions are provided, to enhance their capacity to protect their own territory as it relates to security also in Nigeria,” she said.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has pulled down trees and shanties at a forest in Pasali along Kuje-Gwagwalada road, suspected to be a haven for bandits and other criminal elements.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Department of Development Control and Sanitation executed the demolition on Wednesday.
The FCTA had earlier warned of plans to remove illegal structures along the Tipper Garage and Kuje-Gwagwalada road axis.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT minister, Mr Ikharo Attah, told NAN after the exercise that the aim was to clear the area of illegalities and restore approved masterplan.
“We have reclaimed the vegetable market and others which have been taken over by other people.
“The Minister of FCT and the Commissioner of Police are fully aware of the exercise, and we will continue to reclaim the areas designated for special purposes,” he said.
He explained that some of the structures had been marked for long and adequate publicity was given to the general public.
“We have seen that there is heavy roadside trading, illegal attachments, expansion towards the road and indiscriminate roadside markets.
“We have assessed the situation and have notified the general public before now, this is why the exercise will continue,” he explained.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Kenya National Defense University on Wednesday, reaffirming his administration's commitment to empowering the country's defence, security and governance professionals through the provision of quality training.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony at Lanet in Nakuru County, President Kenyatta emphasized that without high-quality human capital, the pursuit of sustained socio-economic development will remain a mere dream.
“…in the past, the focus was on non-security education with a narrow mindset that higher education was not particularly relevant to the security sector.
“As part of our broad reforms in the education sector, my administration has had to rethink this vision; because we still need strategic thinkers, including in the security sector,” said President Kenyatta.
The National Defense University of Kenya (NDU-K) is the first public university to be established under Section 24 of the Universities Act 2012 as an entity of national strategic importance.
The Head of State, who is also the chancellor of the NDU-K, expressed satisfaction that the higher education institution has joined the ranks of some international universities with a mandate to offer security-related education and training programs.
He added that the establishment of the National Defense University-Kenya aligns well with the Government's overall strategy of crystallizing reforms in the education sector to advance Kenya's socio-economic transformation agenda.
President Kenyatta issued a charter creating the National Defense University-Kenya which will award specialized degrees and offer courses in the fields of defence, security and strategy on May 27 last year.
“I am pleased to note that within the 12-month transition period, the university has made commendable progress against the benchmarks set out in the governing instruments, especially the charter.
We now have fully functioning management and governance frameworks to facilitate seamless service delivery to stakeholders,” he said.
The president noted that the university will contribute to strengthening Kenya's position as an educational hub and enhance the country's ability to align with the evolving regional and global security environment.
By partnering with relevant stakeholders in developing capabilities at various levels of the national defense and security architecture, President Kenyatta said the university is poised to enrich the multi-agency, whole-of-government service delivery approach of the country.
“Importantly, the Kenya National Defense University, as a national think tank, will play an active role in transforming our peace and security frameworks for posterity,” said President Kenyatta.
He urged the university council and management to optimize the institution's capabilities and align its programs with best practices through mentoring and benchmarking to ensure continuous improvement of human capital and infrastructure.
“As I prepare to pass the baton of leadership to the next administration, I want to note that not only has it been an honor for me to serve as your Commander-in-Chief, but more importantly, I truly appreciate the support you have given him.
me in building our nation.
"I will be eternally grateful for the tremendous progress we have made together for this great country," said President Kenyatta.
Defense Forces Chief General Robert Kibochi said that the National Defense University-Kenya stands out as one of the pillars of higher education training and research across the African continent.
"There are not many of them and this will stand out as a training base in this region," General Kibochi said.
Present at the ceremony were Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and senior military officials, including the university's Vice Chancellor, Lieutenant General JM Mwangi, among other senior government officials.
The Executive Director, Glisten International Academy, Mr Abba Saidu, has called on the Federal Government to focus more on standadised education to give leeway to students in the phase of insecurity.
Saidu was speaking in Abuja on the sideline of the graduation ceremony, prize and award presentation of the school.
The theme of the ceremony is tagged ” Exponential Visibility: Breaking the Glass Ceiling.
He said that the insecurity in the country had resulted into the shut down of schools, while calling for alternative options of learning online to keep students abreast of knowledge.
According to him, we all have to stand up and say no to insecurity.
I think enough is enough.
We are tired of all these things and we cannot continue like this.
” For those that are fortunate and are quite rich, their kids can afford to go to school anywhere but here why can’t we have education.
Education should not just be when school is opened, we can go online.
” Our government should make it a policy on high bred schools , it is high time we all woke up whether there is ASUU strike or not, there should be people that are willing to provide right education to the people .
” It is high time we focused our minds and redirect ourselves to know that we can still learn, especially with the internet but we can standadise all these things.
” If government can focus and have a standardised education so that people can have a curriculum and still learn without being tutored,” he said.
He advised the graduands to remain resilience and be communicative to have more 21st century skills to navigate the present challenging time.
Also, the Chief Care Professional of the school, Mrs Prisca Godwill , who said that the school graduated 83 pupils both in the early years and basic class, advised them to remain focused and determined to achieve their goals.
Godwill said that insecurity had limited physical interaction of students and as such hindered the social lives of the students.
” The security situation is really sad because I remembered in our days, we had peace all round and it did have an effect on our educational system that is socially.
‘ Now, technology has made it a bit easy that people can even learn from home and anywhere they are.
During the COVID, we have students that were learning online and In Glisten, we don’t have that problem.
” Socially, the children need to interact with one another and so they are being denied this opportunity and you know they learn from each other as no one is a custodian of knowledge.
So, that aspect of life is taken away from our children.
” It is very sad our country is going through security problems, I do hope that the government will be able to proffer a solution to actually address the security issues to bring the children back to the four walls of the classroom,” she said.
Some of the students who also spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) were filled with joy as they celebrate their last day in school with other friends.
A year six student of the school, Sskina Mustapha, promised to do better academically throughout her secondary education.
” I have experienced a lot of difficult tasks in my primary school days but I passed them.
I intend to achieve all my grades and get things right in my future endeavour,” she said.
Also, Mr Ananze Pwasolve, promised to continue to make his parent proud as he transit into secondary school.
” It has been very good and full of enjoyment learning and I made many friends throughout.
I want to be someone great in the future so I can make my parent proud,” he said.
Highlights of the ceremony witnessed award presentation to outstanding performances for the academy year and also a dinner for the JSS 3 students of the school.
Fatimah Bello clinched the overall best in the year six, while Williams Dunu and Hamza Abubakar came second and third position respectively.
The leadership of the Senate is meeting behind closed-doors with service chiefs over the lingering security situation in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that present at the meeting are the Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, and Chief Air Staff; Air Marshal Oladayo Amao. Others are the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba; the Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) Yusuf Bichi; the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Dr Ahmed Audi and the Director General National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Ahmed Abubakar.
NAN also reports that the he National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, was said to be attending the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting when the closed door session held at the Senate.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said the security challenges had lingered and the Senate had hoped that the situation would have been better.
He said: “this session is to look into where we are today and this current position where we are is most frightening.
This is like there is no where to go.
“We have to review what more we have to do and what differently we have to do.
“Insecurity is everywhere and especially if it is coming to the point of dislocating the security situation where the government is quartered.
“We will really review and see what more we have to do and how differently we have to do.
“Our population is largely peasant.
Most of our people are in the rural areas and they live their lives by going to farms.
We all know this.
In many parts of the country today, that is a herculean task.
“My belief is that we can do better to secure the rural areas, the so-called ungoverned space at least for our population who go to farms to earn their living.
“Where our agricultural productivity is drastically going down, that will complicate the security situation because the most ordinary Nigerian cares more about what he or she or what the family will eat.
And of course, all other things are secondary.
“We have problem with our economy to some extent because of insecurity.
No foreign direct investment or not as much as we would ordinarily attract to our country.
“Our prayer is to start seeing serious, remarkable and dramatic changes from today.
“We hope that our discussions will give us the opportunity to consider other things or other areas or ideas that we didn’t have before,” Lawan said.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Lucky Irabor said that issues of national security must be seen from a collective perspective.
While noting that quite a lot had happened and quite a lot had been done, Irabor assured Nigerians that the military would do more to improve on the security setting across the country.
“The commitment is there.
No one is leaving any stone unturned in redressing all the imbalances within the security environment.
” he said
Chief Adebayo Adelabu, a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has emerged as the governorship candidate of Accord party in Oyo State.
Adelabu emerged the party’s candidate on Wednesday at an affirmation congress of the party held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this development put to rest the speculations over Adelabu’s next political move after defecting to the party from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Adelabu emerged the candidate of the party after Mr Ayodele Oyajide withdrew his candidature as the party’s governorship flagbearer.
NAN reports that the event was attended by the party’s national executives led by its Chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Nalado and a delegation of INEC led by the State Administrative Secretary, Mr Biodun Amosu.
The event was also attended by the party’s National Assembly candidates, Rep. Shina Peller (Oyo North); Kolapo Kola-Daisi (Oyo South); Nurudeen Faozey(Oyo Central); Mr Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye and Chief Rotimi Ajanaku.
In his remarks, Nalado, urged members of the party to embrace peace and support all the party’s candidates in the 2023 general election.
While handing over the party’s flag to Adelabu, he said that the party was ready to provide the desired alternative in governance.
Also, Prince Kolade Ojo, the State Chairman of the party, urged the people of the state to remain calm, assuring them that the state would experience the best of governance under Adelabu.
Ojo advised the party members to continue mobilising support for the victory of all the party’s candidates in the 2023 general election.
Commenting, Adelabu said that they were prepared to teach the people what democracy and good governance entails.
He called on the people of the state to support him and other candidates of Accord party, promising to take the state to the desired heights.
Adelabu said that victory was sure for all the party’s candidate in 2023, urging members to embark on house-to-house and door-to-door mobilisation.
Peller said that the Accord remained the party to beat in the 2023 general election, adding that they were prepared for victory.
Member of Parliament for East Buyanja County, H.E. Emely Kugonza has said that the socio-economic transformation advocated by President Yoweri Museveni has awakened Ugandans to meaningfully participate in the wealth and job creation initiative.
“More Ugandans are accepting the urgent need to integrate into the cash economy.
They have made a positive transition from poor and subsistence living to modernity,” Kugonza said.
Kugonza said this while submitting a motion to thank President Yoweri Museveni for his State of the Nation address to parliament on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
Kugonza, who submitted the motion on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, said the The president's emphasis on developing mega irrigation schemes of the Mubuku type is aimed at improving and stabilizing agricultural production.
“Currently, 150 solar-powered pumps have been imported.
By the end of next year, 687 solar pumps will have been imported.
Meanwhile, the private sector is building a factory to produce solar-powered panels and water pumps.
The factory will be ready by the end of the year and will produce 160,000 pumps a year,” he said.
Kugonza added that the president's focus on value addition as a link between agriculture and industry is a strategy to ensure that everything agricultural that is not consumed fresh is processed industrially so that it is preserved to reach distant markets.
“A kilogram of coffee beans gives us US$1, but if it is processed, a kilogram sells for US$14.
When a kilogram of coffee is roasted and ground in London, it costs $30.
This bleeding must stop,” he said.
He said that the President affirmed that the government will continue to implement the Parish Development Model whose final result is to take advantage of the production capacity of all the seven million households in agriculture.
“It is a planning and initiation of services that the people need and is oriented from the bottom up for the people, instead of the government using projects to think for the people.
We thank the President and Parliament for the allocation of funds for the implementation of the model for the fiscal year 2022/2023”, said Kugonza.
Bukuya County Deputy, Hon. Michael Bukenya, who seconded the motion, urged Ugandans to support the Parish Development Model saying it will help move 38 percent of the poor into the cash economy.
He also called on the Minister of Water and Environment to implement presidential directives on environmental degradation, arguing that this will reduce costs spent on disaster management.
Hon. Sarah Netalisire (NRM, Namisindwa District) said Ugandans should join the President in fighting corruption by ensuring proper use of public resources.
She also applauded the president for her emphasis on value addition, a move she said will prevent agricultural waste during bumper harvests.
“It is in this area that I want to implore the Minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs to ensure that we access the EAC market.
We are getting a lot of imports into the country and yet some of our products have been rejected or given limited quantities in the EAC market,” she said.
Opposition leader Bro. However, Mathias Mpuuga said that the country faces an imminent risk to national stability caused by massive institutional collapse and the proliferation of presidential directives that are illegally executed by timid public servants and civilians.
He said the individualism approach has also extended to the government's response to issues that threaten national stability.
“The country is facing escalating prices, particularly for fuel and household items.
This has led to financial insecurity for almost every household," Mpuuga said, adding that "this has contributed to the rise in crimes such as robberies, armed robberies, murders and illegal roadblocks across the country."
He said that the Opposition in Parliament will present a statement on the current state of the economy.
"It will articulate plausible interventions that will support citizens in the current economic crisis and avert imminent risk to national stability," he said.
He also blamed the government for failing to address income inequalities, saying the recently released 2019/2020 National Household Survey revealed that one in five people live in poverty, while people in absolute poverty have risen from eight million to 8.3 million.
“The haggling over the middle-income status badge between the government and the World Bank is a misguided and childish fight.
Countries don't negotiate their way to be classified as middle-income, they work their way there,” Mpuuga said.
He added that Uganda is far from achieving sustainable development due to excessive levels of economic dependence on external financing.
According to Mpuuga, of the approved budget of 48.1 trillion shsh for the fiscal year 2022/2023, national and local revenues are projected at only 25.7 trillion shsh, while the rest, amounting to 23.4 trillion sh shs, will be mobilized from loans and grants.
“As a means of addressing rising levels of indebtedness, the Opposition presented alternatives to the Fiscal Financial Responsibility Charter that was adopted by the House.
Therefore, it is essential that Parliament provide adequate oversight of the implementation of the Fiscal Financial Responsibility Charter.
To address human rights violations by the security forces, Mpuuga called for the transformation of the Human Rights Committee into an opposition-led accountability committee.
“This will ensure greater scrutiny of the operations of human rights institutions and investigations into the handling of human rights cases.
This will be achieved through comprehensive amendments to the Rules of Procedure,” he said.
Rapporteur, Anita Among adjourned debate on the motion until Thursday, August 04, 2022.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has deployed adequate operational equipment and personnel to effectively control the traffic in crash prone areas nationwide.
The Acting Corps Marshal, FRSC, Mr Dauda Biu, said this in a statement by the Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO) Mr Bisi Kazeem, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Biu said that the Corps was currently restrategising to boost its operational activities through the deployment of more operating tools.
This he said, was in a quest to make the highways safer for all road users.
According to him, the deployment will include injecting new fleet of vehicles into the operational front.
“It also includes fixing of grounded vehicles that are presently impacting negatively on the general operations of the corps.
“We will also tackle fuel inadequacies for patrol, rescue and administrative fleet of the corps among others, ” he said.
Biu said that the new fleet, which included ambulances for rescue services, would be inaugurated for full operations very soon.
He said this included light and heavy tow trucks for prompt removal of obstructions, administrative and patrol vehicles.
He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and commitment to the realisation of a safer motoring environment in Nigeria.
He also expressed gratitude to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for his usual support.
Accordingly to him, some of the identified traffic prone areas to be manned are Lokoja-Kabba-Ayere-Akunu-Ise-Junction-Ile-are-Ado, Asaba-Abraka-Ughelli-Warri, Ibadan-Ogere-Sagamu, Sagamu-Mowe-Lagos corridors“Ekiti, Lokoja-Kabba-Ayere, 9th Mile-Udi-Oji-River-Umunze, Bauchi-Alkaleri-Kaltungo, Kaduna-Kachia-Kwoi-Manchok, Keffi-Nasarawa-Toto-Abaji-Lokoja, Lekki-Epe-Ijebu Ode.“Others include but not limited to Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi, Jos-Bauchi-Gombe, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi, Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum,“Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressway, Okene-Ogori-Isua-Owo, and Makurdi-Otukpo-Obollo Afor-9th Mile, ” he said.
“The whole family was in the field working when the shooting started.
We fled and walked for three hours to Rumangabo in the rain,” says Ponsie Benda, 54.
“We couldn't go back to the house.
We left with what we had on us”.
As clashes between the armed group M23 and the Congolese army closed in on his village, the father of 13 children found refuge in the Virunga National Park primary school in Rumangabo in June. 190,000 people in need Like Ponsie, more than 190,000 people have had to flee their homes since the end of March 2022 in the Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories of North Kivu province, following the resurgence of the armed group M23 and intermittent clashes with the Congolese Army. PONSIE BENDA (RIGHT), 54, HIS WIFE of hers AND 13 CHILDREN WERE DISPLACED AFTER THE FIGHT CLOSER TO THEIR HOMETOWN “We slept outside.
I built this shelter with wooden sticks.
We eat boiled leaves from Monday to Sunday.
My wife takes them from people's fields, asking the owners first.
There is mutual help because the community knows how much we are suffering”.
Most people have gathered along the national highway linking Rutshuru to Goma, the capital of North Kivu, often in overcrowded places.
“We slept outside.
I built this shelter with wooden sticks.
I'm going to get banana and eucalyptus leaves to cover it.
That way at least the kids will be a little bit protected,” says Ponsie.
When he and his family arrived in Rumangabo, the school classrooms were already full and they had no choice but to settle in the courtyard.
At the Rugabo stadium in the center of Rutshuru, more than 1,400 families have gathered.
UNHCR has built community shelters, but even so, conditions remain extremely precarious: some 35 families share an 18-by-5-meter tent.
“When it rains, the water floods the ground in the shelters and we spend the night in the water,” says Agrippine N'Maganya, 53, who arrived in Rutshuru with six of her 10 children more than four months ago.
"The others must be in Uganda by now...
I haven't heard from them since the flight," she says.
“The proximity in internally displaced persons (IDP) sites, combined with the lack of showers and latrines, is a major risk factor for the spread of infectious diseases such as measles or cholera,” says Bénédicte Lecoq, Médecins Sans Frontières ( MSF) emergency coordinator.
Stomachs are empty Adding to the lack of shelter is the lack of food.
“We have nothing to eat.
Sometimes people I know from my village give me some food that they collected in the neighbourhoods,” says Obed Mashabi, 20, who found refuge in the Rugabo stadium at the end of March.
"We eat boiled leaves from Monday to Sunday," adds Ponsie.
“My wife takes them from other people's fields, asking the owners first.
There is mutual help because the community knows how much we are suffering.
They share what little they have.” “The people we treat have empty stomachs,” says Lecoq.
“It is essential to increase food distributions or the situation could get even worse.” At the Rutshuru general referral hospital, the MSF-supported unit for severely malnourished children has been full for several weeks, with a bed occupancy rate of 140%.
In the health structures that our teams are supporting in the Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories, the average number of consultations often exceeds 100 per day.
The three main diseases observed are malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhoea.
“Given the magnitude of the needs, our teams cannot be everywhere.
Health structures are overwhelmed and face a serious lack of medicines.
In the face of this emergency, more actors must be mobilized to ensure that all people can access care,” says Lecoq.
OBED MASHABI, 20, FOUND SHELTER IN RUGABO STADIUM AT THE END OF MARCH “We don't have anything to eat.
Sometimes people I know from my town give me some food that they collected in the neighborhoods.
We have food in the village, in the fields, but we can't go back.
The war continues there.
Everything must be rotting.
Beyond the immediate needs, the long-term consequences for affected communities are also a cause for concern.
Most depend on agriculture, so lack of access to their fields for weeks or even months could exacerbate food insecurity for thousands of people in the region.
“We have food in the town, in the fields, but we can't go back.
The war continues there.
Everything must be rotting,” says Obed. Limited humanitarian assistance Although the crisis has lasted for several months, Agrippine, Ponsie and Obed lament the lack of humanitarian assistance received so far.
“I have never received any distribution of food, no bowls, no pots; nothing,” says Agrippina.
“No one has come here.
If we had gotten help, we wouldn't be out like this,” adds Ponsie.
The recent outbreak of violence in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation with an estimated total of 1.6 million people displaced and more than 2.5 million people in need in North Kivu province in June of 2022.
For Agrippine, the more the weeks go by, the more the hope of returning home diminishes.
“I have no hope of going home any time soon.
There is no improvement,” she says.
Ponsie shares her discouragement.
"Why is there still war in North Kivu?
This is not the first time we have had to flee.
I don't know how my children can grow up in war."