Nov 17 2006 AFP report via ST - Darfur refugees in Chad risk water shortages
Roland Van Hauwermeiren, head of Oxfam's operations in eastern Chad, said in a statement that Oxfam's pumping station in Goz Beida, where many displaced are arriving, is already working at full capacity for the refugee camp.
Following a visit Tuesday to Goz Beida, where more than 4,000 Chadians have arrived since last week, he warned that rations would have to be slashed if there is no more water in the ground.
"As we cannot deprive these new arrivals of water, we will have to find other solutions, such as reducing the water available every day or trucking in water, until the security situation stabilizes and people are comfortable going home," Van Hauwermeiren said.
The state of the Chadian displaced was alarming, Van Hauwermeiren said.
"Many have arrived with nothing, and are camping under trees in a state of shock,' he said.
"People I have spoken with say that in all of their years, they cannot remember things being this bad, with such hatred and destruction choking them out of their homes," said Van Hauwermeiren.
"Everyone wants to go home to their crops and to their regular lives but are too afraid to even consider it. The feelings of desperation among the people are overwhelming," he said.