Friday, August 31, 2007

Urafiki School at Nduta

These chilren are haning around the school. Classes begin on Monday, September 3rd.
There are 5 primary schools at Ntuda (3 at Kanembwa). Urafiki school (part of which is pictured here), will host 1800 students. 35 teachers will educate them -- that's a student-teacher ratio of a little more than 51:1!! There are about 6 buildings in this complex (the 7th is falling down, so I don't think they'll use that classroom).
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

food distribution at Nduta

These are card checking stations. Refugees must present their ration cards to have them punched before each distribution.
This is a shot of the food distribution chutes. Refugees are divided into food groups of 50-100 people. Each group elects a leader and the leader recieves the food on behalf of the group at a designated chute at a designated time. There are about 15 chutes in all.

This is a group of people waiting for their leader to retrieve their rations. Once the leader brings the rations, the people will divide the food amongst themselves.

A shot of some of the people assembled for distribution. The crowd was huge and looked like this the whole time I was there. Distribution lasts from 9:00am till sunset. More than 36,000 people recieved food.

A group preparing to divide their food. Each group recieves corn meal flour, corn-soy blend, salts, and vegtable oil. Though the rations are supposed to last for 2 weeks, my coworkers said that they do not. More food is needed. We've asked the WFP for more food, but sadly they can't give us any more.
After the food is divided, the refugees must take the load back to their homes. Some live more than a mile from the distribution center.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

...more Nduta camp pics...

All of these pictures are taken from a central location in the camp. The camp is divided into various blocks, that are sort of like sections of a city. Most of the camp, with the exception of the two markets, looked like these blocks.
More houses...
More houses...notice how small the plots are.
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More pictures from Nduta

These are the tents that hold the WFP food supply at Nduta camp. WFP delivers the food to TCRS who stores and distributes the items.
Men moving bags of corn meal to the distribution center in preparation for distribution on Wednesday.
Construction of the new transit center at Nduta camp. They hope to complete this in a few weeks. The buildings will house refugees returning to Burundi the night before their departure. Currently repatriants from Nduta must travel to the Kanembwa (about a 45km trip) transit center before returning. All of their luggage and foodstuffs must be transported as well. Logistically, this system has proven to be time consuming and problematic which is why TCRS is constructing a new facility at Nduta.
Construction on another building at the Nduta transit center.
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Pictures from Nduta

This is a picture of houses at Nduta. Nudta is the larger of the two camps TCRS currently manages with a total population just under 40,000 individuals. At the beginning of the year TCRS managed 4 camps in the Kibondo district (districts are sort of like counties in U.S. states), but due to government regulations 2 camps closed and refugees from those camps moved to Nduta.
More houses at Nduta.
And more houses at Nduta. This layout is what I expected the camps to look like, in that the refugees have less space and seem more crowded. Notice that the plots for houses are smaller than those at Kanembwa.
Refugees receiving instructions about the process for food distribution which will happen on Wednesday of this week (8/29/07). Food from the World Food Program is distributed bi-weekly.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Kanembwa Camp Pictures

One of the refugee houses at Kanembwa Camp
A group of houses at Kanembwa (appologies for the photo quality--this was taken from a moving truck). While they are sturdy shelters, homes do not have running water or electricity. From what I can tell, this is typical for rural African dwellings.

Group of kids who are waiting to go to the U.S. The U.S. governent has agreed to accept up to 13,000 of the Burundian refugees if those refugees meet certain standards. I'm not clear on what exactly those standards are yet, but I do know that we do not have enough qualified refguees to meet that ceiling.

The "American Village." This is where refugees awaiting resettlement in the U.S. live while their applications are processed and their placements determined.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Repatriation to Burundi on Tuesday, Aug 21; Part II

Refugees gather to prepare for the trip to Burundi (left). A photo of some of the buses and trucks at around 9:00am (right).

These are pictures of chilren waiting for items and food to be packed so they can board the buses and trucks (left, below).

This family is registering to repatriate (above). They will probably leave next Tuesday. Before they leave they must tear down their home in the camp.

The boy in the plaid, red and white shirt lacks two years of seconday school to graduate (above). It may be several years before he and his friends can finish their education in Burundi.

These men are refugees that TCRS hires to help distribute rations (left). These people are in line, waiting to recieve their rations (right). The repatriates are given a 6-month supply of corn meal, corn-soy blend, dry beans, oil, and salt. 2 monts of that supply is distributed in Tanzania. The rest is given to them in Burundi.

This woman has just received rations (above).

This man is blind (right). He is waiting to recieve his rations. The chilren (left) were with him. They seemed so excited to get their food.

Loading trucks (right and left)

This girl stole my heart! She is peering at me through one of the walls that marks the ration distribution center (above).

This woman is receiving paperwork that will allow her to cross the boarder (above). It verifies how many people are in her family. UNHCR uses papers like this to regulate food ration distributions and monetary distributions. Notice that she has a load on her head, another in her hands, a baby tied to her back, and another child behind her. Now THIS is strength!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Repatriation to Burundi on Tuesday, Aug 21; Part 1

Refugees waiting to recieve their food rations (left). The WFP (World Food Program) will provide 6 months of food to refugees who return to Burundi. 2 months of that ration are distributed by TCRS in Kibondo. They recieve the rest in Burundi.
Families preparing to board a bus or truck which will take them to Burundi (right). The women are amazing! They carry their loads on their heads and their children on their backs. African women have to be among the strongest in the world!

The benches inside one of the UNHCR trucks that transports refugees (left). Vulnerable people (children, elderly, and the ill) are taken in buses.

Children in the trucks and buses as they prepare to start the 1.5-2 hour ride to Burundi (left and right).

A family aboard one of the trucks (above). They couldn't seem to contain their smiles! This family seems to have done well in the camps. They were among the best dressed and cleanest groups. In the cardboard boxes are chickens they are taking with them--airholes are poked in the sides.

One of the trucks as it crosses the border into Burundi (left).
In Burundi, the UNHCR has a reception center for the repatriants. This center will supply their remaining food rations (a mix of corn mill, corn-soy blend, dry beans, salt, and cooking oil), provide shelter, supplies, and food, and arrange their transport to their towns.

The shelter where the refugees will spend the night in Burundi before heading to their villages the next day (right). Some of the supplies repatriants will recieve (left, below).