Bahai beach

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bahai Beach 19

Bahai Beach 19

November 3, 2006

Time keeps on ticking.

While Mimi our black four month old cat but already an expert in catching mice is trampling the keyboard in attempt to lure me into giving food things developments are as usual rapid, chaotic and unpredictable. The little chicken for instance seem to feel that Mimi is a big furry brother of theirs. One day a family drama is bound to take place. I am trying to brief my chicklets but the seem impenetrable concerning security threats. Their mothers however are much wiser. For at least 3 weeks no eggs have been produced. Their must be an inbuilt anti Kalashnikov gene in the reproductive system of these birds. War means no eggs as the offspring will grow up in dire conditions.
In Bahai in the mean time the merchants are packing up shop, inhabitants are leaving to other places and there is an eerie silence despite the increased presence of rebels in the wadi. A senior Chadian Government Colonel from Bahai has been killed fighting in the South and a wake is taking place next to our office ass that is his residence. In the history of Chad April and December are known to be months of revolution. Even last April there was an attempted coup from Sudan by Chadian rebels. December is nearing and fights are going on inseveral places within Chad. Also in Darfur itself the heat is on. GoS looking for an Endlosing and the Zaghawa and other tribes looking to carve out there kingdom. In the media one may get the feeling that Arabs are out to destroy the Black Africans. Clearly there are Arab villages being looted and pillaged by Black African tribes. It is nasty business war but calling this nasty would be to kind.
Back in the camp power play all the time. I wish you could be present at meetings. Yesterday I chaired a meeting with the Protection and Public Health team about collaboration. One group has Social Workers and the other has Community Health Workers. It was the first meeting with the Expatriate and Inpatriate staffs of both teams present as well as the senior Refugee staff. It starts out calm and positive with women and men coming up with good suggestions then at one point the leaders join the fray the discussion with the shopping list approach and with condemnation of the litlle effort we have done. So to give an example a woman will deliver in the heath center when we give her a piece of soap, fruit, meat, sugar or perhaps a bag of money. Or that a vehicle is required for emergency services as the horse cart owner living in the camp lives far away. The bottom line is men refuse women to deliver in the health center and they are the decision makers. We have a big work in that department. It seems however that an assistant reproductive manager is coming soon. Maybe even today she will join to the camp. She is Chadian and speaks Arabic. In the community there are many Traditional Birth Attendants who do roughly 60% of deliveries. When a problem arises they come to us very late. We need to create an incentive for them to come to us with the problems before the problems turn in to catastrophy. Last two months we lost some new borns and even a mother due to lack of clarity about when they can or not come to the health care center (24/7) These are issues to be discussed on grass root as well as leader level. In the clinic in the mean time due to overdue holiday breaks for national staff we were very much understaffed however most are back now. Yippie – a – yaay.
Dear Doctor Ponce who has been working 12 hours a day for 3-4 weeks in the hospital is off for a weekend break in the capital and after that he will be doing an assessment of our possible new site near Biltine. F~rom the information gathered sofar the Ministry of Health is more present there. I guess beating one chicken and a guard is not hard to beat. Reports are due a budget for this highly chaotic move with a minute planning time. Remember first convoy is supposed to start to leave on the 10th of November to a site where there is nothing yet. We as an organization need to step up to tell UNHCR that even given security threats it is impossible to move a camp to another place without planning from a moral, medical but mostly a human point of view.

My pancakes are awaiting and so are a hospital, reports, new staff, a child requiring a bloodtransfusion I am off.

All be safe.

Take care,


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