Mauritania – 16th Sitrep on the Crisis in the Sahel

LWF/DWS Mauritania Program
Situation report # 16 (May 28, 2012)

Camp Mberre
The story every mother, grandmother or child brings to the camp differs. But the reasons are the same. The fighting in Mali has been on and off for years but recent events has forced hundreds of thousands of people leaving their homes, as many leaving the country. And every day thousands of refugees cross the borders of Mauritania ending up in Camp Mbéré, managed by LWF in close cooperation with UNHCR and other NGOs present in the camp.

Doye Doye Ali Salam and his wife Vatima Welet Ibrahim were among the first families to arrive in early February and they can´t hold back their anger. “We are not doing well here”, they say. “We have almost nothing to eat and the food we get is bad”. Doye Doye and Vatima have four children, the two boys born with brain damage making them almost incapable of moving and talking. “We had a big house in Mali”,  Doye Doye says. “We had a lot of animals; I could feed my family and live a good life”.

The question to be asked LWF staff working everyday to make life bearable for the people fleeing is; does it make you sad to hear? No, they say, never! The situation for these people is so unjust, they do not deserve this and all they can do is compare the life in camp with what they had in Mali.

Fatimetou Wolet Mohammad arrived late the night before with her family from Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania. They left Mali twenty five years ago and have been moving around Mauritania since then. A life that finally was impossible to live and they decided to move to the refugee camp, getting closer to a better life in a neighboring country.

“We have been living day by day for such a long time, almost never knowing about tomorrow”, Fatimetou says. “Here we have a place of our own, food and hopefully schooling for our kids until we can find a steady life somewhere else”, she says.

Zeinabou Méré Bowboutamou arrived a few days ago and lives in a temporary tent she made herself from wood and blankets. She has both her granddaughters in her lap, their mother sleeping off the heat.  “We came here a few weeks ago, fleeing for the second time”, she says. Her looks are steady and seems to be smiling as she holds her granddaughters tighter.

She says she had a flourishing shop in Mali, selling food and vegetables in a very strategic cross road making it prosperous business, her husband traveling buying groceries for her to sell. “Suddenly the rebels came to our village and as Arabs we were threatened and had to leave.” She says they had to flee the first time in February but decided to return as the situation got better. But after a few weeks they had to leave again as the threats got even more serious. “I don’t know much about the future”, she says “but here we are safe”. She hopes to get a tent and a place to stay in the camp soon, and to return to her life and business in Mauritania.

Please find all updated data Camp Mbéré: http://data.unhcr.org/MaliSituation/country.php?id=132

Senegal
All local management committees have completed their investigation of targeted households.
– Friday 25 May 2012 day is devoted to start prioritizing targets.
– Meeting on Thursday 24 MAI 2012: Pastor Pierre Thiam, Marie Cecile Diouf Ndiaye Dibocor with Mrs. Mbow Astou Ball So, instructor at the Training School CRETEF, now in Tattaguine health district to handle the nutrition component. Mrs Mbow will provide expertise in training women for making fortified cereals.
– Continued surveys of prices of food consumption in major markets.
– Writing the final report for the selection of targets in Fatick.
– Development of a plan meeting all Heads of Nursing Post (ICP) of the Borough of Tattaguine.

LWF/DWS Actions
1.In May, the LWF has installed, numbered and assigned 2539 tents in the camp- the last week, LWF has installed about 35 refugee families coming from Nouakchott.
2.Started constructing 13 temporary schools in Mbéré
3.Attended coordination meetings facilitated by UNHCR regarding Malian Refugees
4.Conducted a meeting with OXFAM INTERMON around the location of toilets in the camp
5.Identified and grouped beneficiaries of WFP cash transfers project (identification: 72% and grouping: 62%)

Actions from other organizations
1.UNHCR conducted security training for Drivers, Finance Staff and Coordinators in Bassikounou
2.This week, UNHCR will carry out security training for other Staff from its partners

Best regards,

Thomas Ekelund
Fédération Luthérienne Mondiale/Lutheran World Federation
Chargé de Communcation/Communications Officer
Mauritanie

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One Response to Mauritania – 16th Sitrep on the Crisis in the Sahel

  1. Pingback: ELCA Disaster Response » Blog Archive » West Africa: Update from LWF Amidst Worsening Drought - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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