Mon, 04 Jul 2022 Today's Paper

Fleeing violence, India's displaced face disease, death in camps

6 August 2012 12:24 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

GUWAHATI, India, Aug 6 (AlertNet) - Hundreds of thousands of people sheltering in squalid, overcrowded camps in India's northeast desperately need food, water and medicines after fleeing some of the worst communal violence in a decade, officials and aid workers said on Monday.

At least 12 people, including four children, have died and thousands are sick with diseases such as diahorrea and malaria caused by poor conditions in government-run camps in Assam state, where up to 400,000 people have taken refuge.

"We are in a state of high alert," said Assam's Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. "People in the camps are suffering from diahorrea, dysentery, malaria and high fever. We are concerned about the condition of the babies and pregnant women."

Violence between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers from neighbouring Bangladesh erupted on July 20 when unidentified men killed four Bodo youths. In retaliation, armed Bodos - which dominate Assam's Kokrajhar district - attacked Muslims, suspecting them of being behind the deaths.

The fighting has tested the ability of India's security forces to restore order in Assam, famed for its tea plantations and home to the constituency of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited the state in late July to appeal for calm.

So far 61 people have died - some hacked to death with machetes, while dozens of villages have been razed to the ground, forcing both Bodos and Muslims to flee to schools and community centers which have been converted into relief camps.

Sarma said around 8,000 children under two-years-old are sick, while hundreds of others have tested positive for malaria. There are also around 4,000 pregnant women in the camps who need medical support, he added.

FEARFUL TO RETURN HOME

Aid workers described the camps as "suffocating" with livestock living alongside people, few toilets and little access to clean water. Many people sleep in the open and women have little privacy, forced to wait for dawn or dusk to find a place outside to defecate.

Authorities have been overwhelmed by the numbers of displaced -- camps designed to accommodate 400 people are brimming with five times that amount, said aid workers.

"The government is lost and they are somewhat overwhelmed by the number of people who are displaced. They came in hordes and while relief is being distributed, it is totally inadequate," said Mrinal Gohain, northeast manager for the charity ActionAid.

Authorities are encouraging some of the displaced to return home, saying that the situation is under control with police and army patrols, as well as a curfew in some areas.

But aid workers distributing relief in the camps say survivors are too scared to return, especially after reports that five more people were killed over the weekend.

"There is a serious safety issue. Despite what the government says, people are traumatized and fearful and unwilling to return," said Geeta Majumdar from the charity Catholic Relief Services.

"Given the conditions inside the camps and the lack of security and safety outside, we are extremely concerned. Health is a priority and we are worried about epidemics occurring with such unsanitary conditions in such cramped spaces."

(AlertNet is a humanitarian news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Visit www.trust.org/alertnet)

(Writing by Nita Bhalla; Editing by Ed Lane)

(Source : Reuters)
Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.

  Comments - 0

Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.