How Can Delhi’s Relief Camps Survive the Rainstorm?
When the rainstorms hit, how do the people in Delhi’s relief camps survive?
From Wednesday, 4 March, Delhi NCR has seen a bout of heavy rains and thunderstorms.
The city is only just coming out, scathed, after violence that claimed over 47 lives.
Many of the people affected have been forced out of their homes that burnt down, into temporary rehabilitation. But do relief camps have the infrastructure to keep the already traumatised people safe?
In Delhi’s Mustafabad relief camp, the temporary housing braves the weather - and people already vulnerable are worst hit.
- 01/02People taking shelter at the Eidgah camp in Mustafabad clear their sleeping area(Photo: Twitter)
- 02/02Soaked mattresses and mats are drained - where will people sleep?(Photo: Twitter)
Poor Hygiene, Sanitation
At the Eidgah camp in Mustafabad, run by volunteers, the Delhi government and the Waqf board, the majority of the people taking refuge are women and children.
Dr Wasim Qamar, President- Doctors Unity Welfare Association tells FIT that hygiene and sanitation are a big concern for the camp, and this situation worsens in the bad weather. “Infections and diseases spread more when there is flooding and dirty water gathered. We have medicines and stocks of sanitary pads and more.”
Amidst COVID-19, Dr Qamar added that “ we are counselling, explaining the do's and don'ts of hygiene especially in regard to the new virus in Delhi as well.”
People in the camp already have severe injuries and the bad weather exacerbates ill health.
Social Activist Anjali Bhardwaj says,
“This is all tented accommodation it’s been raining today as well. How long will people be expected to live in tents?
Women and girls are often the worst hit in a crisis, and with a lack of adequate, clean toilets, issues of infectious diseases crop up.
CPI Leader Annie Raja tells us that for women, hygienic toilets are essential, and the government must ensure sanitation drives are regular. Menstrual hygiene is often ignored in a crisis, but it is one of the main troubles for girls forced to live in relief camps.
“People haven’t taken a bath since the day they fled their house. Women and children told me they have not changed since then. This leads to the spread of more infections.”
Toilets inside the camp are still under construction, so people go to neighbouring homes or moile toilets outside.
Raja adds, “ There were not enough toilets but yesterday (Tuesday, 3 March) we had given it in writing to the government and today some more have been created. But it should be cleaned up 27*7 - the government should ensure that otherwise there is eager of another outbreak of diseases.”
- 01/02Roads outside a the medical and legal camps at Babu Nagar, Mustafabad(Photo: Twitter)
- 02/02(Photo: Twitter)
This already dire situation gets worsened in the rain, and the roads right outside the Eidgah, where 2 women and 2 male toilets are located, are currently flooded.
The camps serve as a temporary respite until further housing is arranged, but it is clear that stronger infrastructure is essential to maintaining safety and hygiene.
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