Ivorian refugees residing in the border town of Buotuo have informed this paper that they have not received any food relief materials from any humanitarian organization in the country since they crossed into Liberia more than one month ago.
The refugees claims contradict recent statement made by the Deputy Executive of Liberia Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) Mr. Saah Nyumah that they have provided some relief assistance to the Ivorian refugees.
Mr. Nyumah recently told newsmen at a press conference at the Ministry of Information that the LRRRC has provided some food items to the refugees.
Speaking to our reporter in Buotuo, the head of the refugees in that area, Madam Toudego Delphine, cited the lack of food, safe drinking water, clothing, sanitation facilities as the key problems facing the refugees.
“The issue of food has gone off hand. We have finished the food from the local community members and all of us are now facing severe food problem,” Madam Delphine stated through an interpreter.
She furthered that few of the able body women usually go into the bushes in search for wood to sell while others work for some of the community members as a means of getting food for themselves.
Madam Delphine also stressed the issue of safe-drinking water as key to their well being. She said lots of the hand pumps in the town are no longer functional except for three of them that were recently reconditioned by Adventist Development Relief Agency(ADRA), “but to get water from the few pumps is very difficult because it does not pump sufficient water as a result we are always in queue or sometimes fight to get a bucket for drinking,” she added.
Madam Delphine also explained to our reporter about the poor sanitatory condition in Buotuo. ” All over in Buotuo, you don’t find any toilet facility and we have many children defecating all over the place and some of them getting sick from such condition, there is a clinic here but no medication, we are really suffering. “
Meanwhile the head of UNHCR Liberia has attributed the food situation in Buotuo to bad road condition, but said they are making every effort to meet the needs of the refugees.
But Madam Delphine in an interview with our reporter in Buotuo said that the issue of bad road should not be used as a ground for keeping hungry, ” they say the road is bad to bring food for us, but every day two to three cars come here to gather listing of refugees and don’t return with anything,” she ended in an angry mood.
Our reporter who just returned from Buotuo one of the local communities hosting the Ivorian refugees, said 90% of the over 3,000 refugees are mainly women and children and the rest are elderly men. According to him, some of the children flee into Liberia without their parents.