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Floods follow hunger in South Darfur’s largest camp

July 30 - 2015 KALMA CAMP
Kalma camp after heavy rains, 18 July 2015 (RD)
Kalma camp after heavy rains, 18 July 2015 (RD)

The more than 163,000 displaced people in Kalma camp, near the South Darfur capital of Nyala, are living in extremely dire conditions during this rainy season, owing to a shortage of food and poor sanitary provisions.

“Many children in the camp show signs of malnutrition as they depended on the food distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP). However, the organisation stopped its food rations two months ago,” Saleh Eisa, general coordinator of Kalma camp reported to Radio Dabanga on Wednesday.

“This exacerbates the already dire situation, as the people are also suffering from a proliferation of mosquitoes and flies during the rainy season. Most of the mosquito nets distributed two years ago have worn out.”

Eisa explained that “the poor sanitary conditions worsened after the latrines were flooded or entirely collapsed because of the rains”.

The population of Kalma camp call on organisations working in the field of water and sanitation to help them out with providing a better drainage system and improve the sanitation facilities, he said.

“In addition they request the provision of medicines and mosquito nets, and an upgrade of the poorly equipped health centres in the camp.”

The camp coordinator further requested the help from “all the organisations, including Unamid, to drain the pools of water in the camp, and redirect the waters of Baba Valley streaming north, east, and south of the camp”.

On 16 July, heavy rains destroyed 761 homes in the camp. The flash floods filled the pits and pools at the camp to the brim. Two days later, two children drowned in one of the pits.

In its weekly bulletin today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that the American Refugee Committee is now disinfecting and rehabilitating the damaged household latrines.

Care International-Switzerland will replace 511 washed-out latrines after the displaced living in flood-prone areas of the camp relocate to more suitable locations.

The UNHCR plans to provide emergency household supplies once the verified beneficiary list has been received from the International Organization for Migration.

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