Chad: government/UNHCR sign agreement for new refugee camp in Adré region
In a major step forward to alleviate overcrowded conditions at Breidjing camp, UNHCR and the Chadian government signed an agreement on Wednesday to construct a new refugee camp at Treguine in the Adré region. Work on the new site started immediately. Some 17,000 refugees will be relocated to Treguine with the first transfers expected in about a month.
Some 36,000 refugees are now living at Breidjing, which was originally intended for only 25,000 people. In addition to the refugees transferred to Breidjing on UNHCR convoys from the border, thousands more refugees have made their own way to the camp, and these spontaneous arrivals are continuing unabated. Every day some 200 refugees are being registered at Breidjing, leading to even more overcrowding and stretching available services to the limit.
Some refugees from Breidjing may be moved to Farchana camp. Although Farchana can immediately handle 6,000 additional refugees, UNHCR does not want to carry out a partial transfer for fear of inciting a spontaneous movement toward the camp by the refugees who are scheduled to be moved to Treguine.
In the meantime, UNHCR is working to improve the situation at Breidjing by rushing additional supplies to the site. Since 1 Aug., 2,800 kg of soap, blankets, jerry cans, kitchen sets and plastic sheeting have been delivered. Cholera kits were also flown to the area this week by helicopter. Since the camp opened on 19 May, 2004, UNHCR has installed 5,548 tents and distributed 16,000 blankets, 27,000 jerry cans, and 5,800 kitchen sets to the refugees.
A new camp at Mader near Iriba in the northern part of the affected border zone is scheduled to open in about a month. This camp will receive refugees currently at Am Nabak site, where an estimated 14,000 refugees have settled despite extremely limited water supplies and close proximity to the Sudanese border.
UNHCR is continuing its efforts to pump up the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the refugee camps in eastern Chad with the assistance of a French military airlift. Relief items including medical kits, telecommunications equipment, non-food items and fuel bladders airlifted into Chad by UNHCR, are being flown from the capital of N'Djamena to the eastern city of Abéché by the French. Helicopters are then transporting emergency equipment, such as cholera kits and other medical supplies, to drop off points near the camps. UNHCR has provided the military authorities with a list of emergency items to be transported by helicopter, but the bulk of the relief material is being trucked from the regional capital of Abéché to the various sites by UNHCR and other aid agencies. The twice daily rotations by the French C-130 transport plane are expected to continue throughout the week and beyond if necessary.