IDP camp upgraded ahead of winter
(14 Oct 2018) LEADIN:
A camp for displaced Yazidis in Iraq is being upgraded in time for winter.
Workers are laying new concrete floors in Sheikhan camp and new tents are being installed.
One thousand tents house the displaced Yazidis living in Sheikhan camp.
And they're getting an upgrade in time for winter.
A programme is underway to lay concrete flooring and replace the old tents with new, bigger structures.
The tents measure 4 metres by 6 metres, are fire resistant and have four layers of textiles that will keep the spaces dry and insulated.
Electricity is being installed in the new tents too.
The improvements come ahead of the harsh winter season.
Temperatures are likely to dip below zero and the Nineveh plains typically face high rainfall.
Ibrahim Khudaida Baker, a Yazidi displaced from Sinjar, is grateful for the new tents.
"If we didn't have this for the winter with all its winds and rains, our children would have been outside," he says.
"We will be relieved and relaxed in the winter, God willing."
Sheikhan camp is home to around 860 Yazidi families. Most are from Sinjar but fled in 2014 when the Islamic State group swept through the area.
Their tents have a life expectancy of around 12 months, but they have been living in them for much longer.
"Four years living under these tents, and it has worn out in these four years, and now they are fixing and replacing it with new ones," says Dakhil Bero, a Yazidi displaced from Sinjar:
His family watches as he smooths the cement outside their new tent.
They will be hoping that this will be a drier, warmer home than before.
Across the camp, there is a buzz of activity as people construct the new tents.
The "winterization" project started in September is 85 percent complete. All the tents are expected to be finished in the next 10 days.
Few people who live here expect to leave the camp and return home anytime soon.
Sinjar is still not a place they want to live.
"It is not good. The mass graves of our people are still lain around in the area," says Yusouf Khidhir, displaced man from Sinjar.
"Nothing has been rebuilt, and there are no services. The Iraqi government doesn't bother itself with us, and the Kurdistan one disconnected itself from us."
The project has been supported mainly by the German Development Agency GIZ, UNHCR, Red Crescent, Barzani Charity Foundation BCF, and the Board of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs BRHA in Dohuk governorate.
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