Displaced by community violence, living in dire conditions in northeastern DRC | MSF

Lack of basics in camps contributes to difficult situation for people

Yvonne lives in the Tse Lowi displacement camp with her son and six grandchildren. Her tiny hut, in which she cannot even stand up, is made of straw. Whenever it rains the whole family gets wet.

Fortunately, hygiene facilities have been installed in their camp, including latrines and enclosed areas where it is possible to wash with some privacy. That is not the case in the camps that have appeared more recently with the latest waves of displaced people, such as Kambe camp, which was built seven months ago and is currently home to 426 households that share just four makeshift latrines and have nowhere to shower.

“Kambe camp is divided into four blocks; I’m responsible for the inhabitants of block 2. There are more than 300 people living in my block”, says Aimé Mave Dhesi. “The small hut at the end of the block is our only toilet; we have no shower, so we wait until it’s dark, when nobody can see us, to wash ourselves.”

“Food is very scarce here. The few plots of onions, pumpkin and potatoes that we grow aren’t enough to feed everyone and the nearest water source is a 45-minute walk away”, explains Aimé. “The displaced people in Kambe help the locals in their fields to earn a bit of money. A typical day wage is around CDF 1,000 (or €0.50), which is barely enough to buy food, and if they get sick, their families are left with empty stomachs until they are able to go back to work.”

Since December 2019, we have scaled up our activities in order to respond to the needs of the displaced people. However, the current level of assistance is not sufficient, and people are still living in extremely poor conditions. The humanitarian community in Ituri needs to urgently address this crisis and scale up assistance.

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