Chad: new transfer route for Sudanese set to open
UNHCR and our partners tomorrow are set to open a new transfer route for the relocation of thousands of Sudanese refugees along the Chad-Sudan border to the third and newest camp further inside Chad. Nearly 4,300 refugees have been moved from the border to the first two camps since the operation began on January 17.
Tomorrow's transfers will open up the third relocation route to move the refugees away from the volatile border to safer inland sites where they can receive assistance. The refugees will move from two villages on the border, near Birak, to the new camp at Kounoungo, 70 km inside Chad. At the beginning of February, UNHCR teams registered 5,195 refugees in the Birak region. Movements have also continued from Tine, further to the north, to the camp at Touloum, and from the Adré region south of Birak to the camp at Farchana.
The daily convoys to Touloum are on hold for a few days to allow us to register the dozens of refugees who have come to the site on their own in recent days. The refugees have walked to Touloum as the information quickly spread of a transit centre where they could feel secure and have access to water and food.
Lack of water is still a major challenge throughout the region. At Touloum, we have just installed an additional water bladder that can hold 15,000 litres. Altogether, we can deliver and stock up to 45,000 litres water a day in Touloum, which covers the needs of the refugees at present. Our partner, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), is expected to receive additional water equipment over the weekend to start drilling in Touloum and Kounoungo and at a new site being prepared at Mile.
Meanwhile, a UNHCR emergency airlift bringing some 256 tons of relief supplies for the 110,000 refugees in this remote region is continuing. Another flight, the third this week, is scheduled to arrive in Abéché tomorrow with blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, soaps, mosquito nets, and plastic sheeting from our stocks in Tanzania. A fourth plane is scheduled to arrive on Monday.