Oxfam warns of water crisis in Chad's refugee camps

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Sudanese refugees in Chad are facing critical water shortage following a decision by relief workers to cut the daily rations allotted to those living in camps in south-eastern Chad.
British charity Oxfam International said Friday that it had been forced to cut the daily rations of emergency water supplies.
"Our biggest concern is that our pumping station in Goz Beida, where many displaced people are arriving, is already working at full capacity to provide 350,000 litres of water to the camp and the community everyday," said Roland Van Hauwermeiren, the head of Oxfam's Operations in eastern Chad, in a statement availed to PANA.
He said if more people arrive, Oxfam may find it difficult to help them.
Chad is hosting 218,000 refugees from the Darfur region over the last three years.
Hundreds of displaced Chad nationals have been arriving daily to safe areas near the refugee camps following a week of attacks on villages that has left dozens of casualties.
A state of emergency was imposed in eastern Chad this week after ethnic attacks on more than ten villages in the area bordering Sudan's western Darfur region.
"Our pumps and generators are working at full capacity to fulfil existing needs, but if there is no more water in the ground, there is nothing we can do," he said.
"We cannot deprive these new arrivals of water, we will have to find other solutions, such as reducing the water available every day or trucking in water, until the security situation stabilizes and people are comfortable going home," added Van Hauwermeiren.
Daily water rations could be reduced by 1.
5 litres, as much as is contained in a bottle of mineral water, leaving people without the water they need for cooking, bathing and drinking.

17 november 2006 17:57:00

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