MSF Sounds Cholera Alert In Chad As Condition Of Refugees In Capital Continue To Deteriorate

Humanitarian workers are on high alert for cases in the displacement camps for people forced from their homes by floods.

The French humanitarian non-governmental organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has sounded an alarm over the possibility of a cholera epidemic in the various camps housing displaced persons from floods in the ninth district of the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

The camps involved are in Walia, Toukra, Ndingangali and Ngueli quarters where the conditions of water, hygiene and sanitation are deplorable, obliging humanitarian workers in the camps to be permanently on the alert for a cholera epidemic.

“In almost all the sites, we have already put tents in place to take care of cases of illness linked to water, notably cholera because the living conditions of the affected persons are deplorable. There is no basic notion of hygiene but we are all ready”, declared the MSF official in charge of the Ngueli camp.

While some efforts have been made in providing some basic hygiene tools such as latrines in some camps, nothing has been done in most.

Many of the flood victims have preferred creating their own nearby camps away from the big camps in order to be able to better take care of their belongings because thieves always visit the big camps at night and steal their belongings.

“I spend my days going to look after my house in order to avoid thieves coming to pull out the doors and windows and even the zinc”, says Abdelawhid Ahmat, a resident artist at the unofficial Toukra Arabe camp.

The unofficial Toukra Arabe camp has for the past thirty days been housing flood victims for whom nothing has been done except the provision of basic treatment for malaria.

“We are suffering in this camp and for the past thirty days we have received nothing apart from the arrival of Minister Mahamat Ahmat Alhabo within the context of his political party which donated foodstuff and other kits. As concerns water and hygiene, the conditions here are deplorable. The children excrete in the open air close to the camp. The women and men can only ease themselves during the night. We live in constant fear of cholera if nothing is done here”, declared Adam Ousmane Sakayroune Abdelkhalid, vice president of the site.

“It is difficult for our wives to bathe and even go to the toilet because we do not have any”, the vice president added.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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