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Chad: UNHCR opened tenth camp for Sudanese refugees

Briefing notes

Chad: UNHCR opened tenth camp for Sudanese refugees

28 September 2004

On Monday, UNHCR opened its tenth camp for Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad. Treguine camp, near Adré, received its first group of 205 refugees yesterday, and 200 more are slated to move today. The refugees were moved to Treguine from the overcrowded camp of Breidjing, just six kilometres away. Over the next six weeks, some 15,000 people will be moved to Treguine.

Decongesting Breidjing camp is one of UNHCR's top priorities in Chad. Breidjing has been hosting some 42,000 refugees, more than twice the number originally planned for the camp, which has overstretched the camp's resources and sanitation facilities.

Monday's transfer took place after several delays caused by the lack of sufficient water at the new site. But UNHCR experts, working closely with the British NGO Oxfam, drilled two boreholes just outside the camp's perimeter that will be able to supply drinking water for 15,000 people once they become operational within three to four months. In the meantime, water drawn from a nearby river will satisfy UNHCR's emergency standard of 15 litres per refugee per day.

The refugees relocating to Treguine camp have been living in makeshift accommodations just outside Breidjing. Almost all of them arrived by their own means from the border in recent months, and there was no longer enough capacity to accommodate them inside the perimeter of the camp itself. Although they received food, water and other items, they were not provided with UNHCR tents while they waited to be transferred.

In addition to Treguine, we are currently building another new camp - called Mader camp - in eastern Chad. Mader will receive some 11,000 refugees now at AmNabak, a temporary settlement established by the refugees themselves when they fled Sudan. AmNabak has no water resources of its own, and all water must be trucked in, a cumbersome and expensive process.

Later this week, UNHCR is planning to start moving some 6,000 refugees still at the border to the existing camp at Farchana, which currently shelters 12,000 people, but has some additional capacity. The refugees scheduled to move to Farchana had opted to stay at the border until now. While monitoring the border areas, UNHCR and its partners in recent weeks have found thousands of refugees who now want to enter the camps because they have run out of resources.

On a longer term basis, we are continuing to search for new sites for more refugee camps in eastern Chad as part of our contingency planning in case thousands more refugees should flee across the border from Sudan. Finding sites with adequate sources of water remains a major obstacle.