Too many refugees, too little water

A photo essay on water problems in Eastern Chad
Anna Husarska
23 February 2010

Bahai is a small town in Eastern Chad 2 kilometers from the Darfur border. The only safe access is by little planes run by humanitarian groups.


The airport is practically non-existent but the building and the sign are there, so are the UN-trained local police.


The Ouré Cassoni camp, some 25 kilometers north from Bahai is home to over 10.000 Sudanese refugees who mostly came in 2004, at the height of the Darfur crisis.


Lake Cariari, the only source of water for the camp is drying up and pumping it is becoming very expensive.


At the end of the dry season the water is very filthy and it has also receded far away from the filters.


The filtering is done in huge tanks, a system installed by the International Rescue Committee five years ago.


Women are known to be much better daily workers than men so they are employed to assemble the tanks.


The camp has 23 communal taps with a total of 142 taps where the refugees come to fill in their yellow jerry cans.


Everybody carries water, although sometimes it seems to be more than they can lift.


Among the camp-inhabitants Obama is undoubtedly popular. “Inshallah he will solve all Darfur’s problems,” they say. Inshallah indeed.

Anna Husarska is senior policy adviser at the International Rescue Committee

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData