|Families flee driving rain at Kalma Camp|
DARFUR, 18 June 2004 – The rainy season is building in the Darfur region, destroying makeshift homes in a camp in South Darfur and sending thousands fleeing for shelter. Rainfall is expected to become heavier in the peak months of July and August. While all camps for displaced people are still accessible, rains will make it harder for aid agencies to reach the more than one million people who have been forced to flee their homes. The expected downpours will also mean that hundreds of thousands of people who are currently sheltering in dry riverbeds, or wadis, will have to move to other locations.
Working with Sudan’s Ministry of Education, UNICEF is bringing in thousands of rolls of plastic sheeting to protect health clinics and temporary classrooms in camps for displaced people. As the rainy season progresses, UNICEF is providing mosquito nets, malaria pills, as well as water purification tablets and soap to meet the growing threat of cholera and malaria. The organization is also training local people to become health educators who will teach hygiene to families across the Darfur region.
|Women run for shelter from the downpour at Kalma Camp|
UNICEF is also extremely concerned that the rainy season will make it impossible to reach the vast majority of the 180,000 people who have fled across the border into Chad. An airlift brought in tarpaulins and water-kits earlier this month, but much more needs to be done to support Chad’s vulnerable refugees.
UNICEF is appealing for US $46 million to support its work in both Darfur and Chad.