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New Lesbos camp: daily life is difficult to organize without water and electricity


Two weeks after the fire that destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, more than 9,000 of the 12,700 people living on the streets were moved to a new temporary camp, built on a shooting range , three kilometers from Mytilene.

Hundreds of white tents, bearing the logo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), stretch out by the sea. In this new hastily built camp on military land, about three kilometers from Mytilene, the capital of the island of Lesvos, 9,200 migrants were transferred to the 12,700 survivors of the Moria camp, which caught fire on September 9.

“We are staying in tents. It feels like when it’s windy ,the tents will fly away and so with us . In my tent, we are eight people. We sleep on the floor, on top We were given a blanket and a sort of tablecloth to put on the floor, ”explains Baptiste (he did not want his name to be published), a 30-year-old Cameroonian.

Emergency camp
The main problem in the camp remains the sanitary facilities, underline the interviewed migrants. “We wash in the sea. To go to the toilet, the guys go to the bush and the women, the same. They have no privacy, ”Baptiste laments.

As sanitary facilities, only chemical toilets have been installed so far. As of September 25, the camp housed only 376, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) . According to the UNHCR communication officer on mission in Lesvos, the camp currently lacks adequate sanitation facilities because the site does not have pipes connected to a sewer network. “A group is working on connecting the site to the pipe network” and “discussions are underway on the organization of showers,” added the UNHCR representative.

Work is also underway to fit out the floors of the tents and in particular to protect them from possible flooding during bad weather that will arrive with the onset of autumn. The site is also not connected to the island’s electricity grid and the seven generators currently in place are insufficient for daily use. To compensate for the lack of light after dark, the United Nations agency distributed one solar lamp per household.


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