INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Darfur - New Idps Overwhelm Al Salam Camp

Published: Wed 11 Jul 2007 08:30 AM
VZCZCXRO8945
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1080/01 1920830
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110830Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7838
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001080
SIPDIS
AIDAC
SIPDIS
STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR - NEW IDPS OVERWHELM AL SALAM CAMP
KHARTOUM 00001080 001.2 OF 002
1. Begin summary: Since early May, an influx of newly displaced
persons arriving in Al Salam camp near Nyala, South Darfur, has
created a localized humanitarian emergency. New arrivals are often
in poor health, and relief agencies are providing much-needed
humanitarian aid. USAID field staff report that water and
sanitation, camp security, and overall case management are ongoing
concerns for Al Salam camp, which has already exceeded maximum
capacity. End summary.
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NEW ARRIVALS
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2. The population of Al Salam internally displaced person (IDP)
camp has more than doubled from an estimated 14,500 in early May, to
nearly 35,000 as of July 4, approximately 5,000 people above maximum
capacity. The majority of new arrivals report fleeing fighting in
Tulus, Buram, and Rehed el Birdi localities in southwestern South
Darfur beginning in early 2007. Many IDPs initially stopped at
towns in Ed el Fursan locality, seeking temporary work en route to
Nyala. USAID field staff also received reports that local
government officials discouraged many IDPs who stopped in the
intermediary towns of Antikayna and Katayla from traveling onward to
Nyala. This accounts for the lapse between the time IDPs left their
homes and arrived in Al Salam. IDPs continued to arrive by truck to
Al Salam camp as recently as July 4.
3. The new arrivals, many of whom are in poor health and are
experiencing malnutrition, have created a significant demand for
expanded relief services in the camp. As Al Salam is the only
Nyala-area camp able to receive additional IDPs, relief
organizations, including several USAID-partners, have responded
rapidly to hire additional staff, expand existing programs, and meet
the needs of the growing camp population.
4. Malnutrition, acute jaundice syndrome, and an unusually high
incidence of the parasitic disease bilharzia among new arrivals
indicate an urgent need for clean water and sanitation facilities,
hygiene promotion, health services, and therapeutic feeding
programs. Most new arrivals require shelter, food, and general
household commodities. Camp officials are also concerned about
maintaining security within the camp. A mob of IDPs recently
assaulted an individual reportedly recognized as an Arab militia
member who attacked their villages.
5. The southern portion of Al Salam camp is in a low-lying area
that is prone to flooding during the rainy season. Plans to
relocate approximately 10,000 IDPs to a new extension area on the
north side of the camp have been pending completion of a new water
distribution system. To date, approximately 2,500 IDPs and many new
arrivals have relocated to the new extension area. CHF
International and Humedica are organizing the relocation process.
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RESPONSE EFFORTS
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6. As camp coordinator, the non-governmental organization (NGO)
Humedica has mobilized quickly and effectively to distribute
non-food items to the new arrivals, and will provide a non-food item
replenishment to old IDPs in mid-July. Humedica also coordinated
with CHF International to provide shelter materials for incoming
households. World Vision has registered most new arrivals and on
July 3 began the monthly distribution of food rations to more than
30,000 IDPs who had registered as of June 30. The remaining 5,000
new arrivals are receiving 15-day emergency food rations until they
can be registered for general food distributions.
7. In response to critical health needs, Humedica is constructing a
cholera treatment center, and both Humedica and International
Medical Corps (IMC) are hiring health staff and obtaining additional
equipment and drugs. From July 1 to 6, the South Darfur Ministry of
Health coordinated an expanded immunization campaign, which included
vaccinations against eight diseases. Following an unusually large
number of reported bilharzia cases, IMC and the State Ministry of
Health launched a week-long screening effort on July 2. More than
50 percent of screened individuals tested positive for bilharzia.
Humanitarian agencies are providing medication that will help
prevent additional camp residents from acquiring the disease. In
response to a steady rise in acute jaundice syndrome (89 cases the
week of June 23-29, compared to 44 cases the previous week) and
KHARTOUM 00001080 002.2 OF 002
water contamination in 60 percent of households sampled, the South
Darfur Office of Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES) plans to
flush the existing water system with chlorine.
8. Water is a priority need for new arrivals, and WES is in the
process of completing a new water distribution system for the camp's
extension area by July 15. WES has drilled five boreholes to
increase the water supply; all have low water yields, prompting
concerns about the ability to meet the increased water demand at the
camp. A team of technical experts is surveying the area for other
drilling locations. In the interim, CARE tankered 50 cubic meters
of water per day to the camp in June and increased this amount to
100 cubic meters per day to meet the needs of the growing
population.
9. To improve sanitation, CARE has constructed eight trench
latrines in the new extension area for temporary use, and is
constructing 300 new household latrines. In addition, the NGO has
cleaned 930 household latrines in other areas of the camp. CARE
also plans to construct shower cubicles and secure places for women
to do laundry after the latrines are completed. Additionally, NGOs
are implementing hygiene promotion campaigns. CARE has trained 18
hygiene promoters with a focus on household-level hygiene and
water-container cleaning, and on June 28 conducted a camp cleanup
campaign with more than 5,000 participants. IMC is recruiting
community health workers to provide hygiene education during in-home
screenings.
10. A nutrition survey conducted by Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in
May indicated a global acute malnutrition rate of 23.3 percent and a
severe acute malnutrition rate of 2.8 percent, both above emergency
thresholds. In response, ACF has expanded outpatient therapeutic
feeding services to two days per week and has opened a supplementary
feeding center that also operates two days per week. ACF is
distributing cereals and vegetable seeds to new arrivals, reaching
4,110 households as of July 4.
11. Humedica is running two schools with a total of 60 classes, and
is discussing with NGOs potentially opening another school with
between 30 and 40 additional classrooms. Humedica has identified
the need for child and youth-friendly spaces and has requested that
an NGO fill that need. Following the suspension of Humedica's
school feeding program in April due to blocked food supplies, World
Vision has asked the U.N. Food Program to provide food for newly
arriving children and pregnant or lactating mothers.
12. In response to security concerns, Humedica, the Government of
National Unity's (GNU) Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), and local
police conducted a meeting with sheikhs and the camp community. The
sheikhs agreed to contribute to maintaining security in the camp by
reporting all security-related concerns to the police. The African
Union is working with the sheikhs on the establishment of a
community policing program.
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ONGOING CONCERNS
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13. In Al Salam camp, USAID field staff note ongoing concerns
regarding adequate water and sanitation facilities in the new
extension area; camp capacity; and camp security. Althougj WES has
pldgEd to complete(the~ew watr !nd w!nitatyon(facLi4iec$if t`eQ~??wQ~~
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