Government being trapped by sections of
they survive the monsoons?
By Julian Kamal
email from a US based fund manager in early 2009 had
this passage: “We will be reviewing all assistance and
funding three months after the last IDPs arrive in the
camps. Given the developments over the weekend this is
likely to be around July 20, 2009. At that time we will
review the international communities’ approach and USAID/OFDA
have been clear that they, along with ECHO and DFID,
retain the option of leaving the government to meet its
responsibilities unassisted if policy doesn’t change.”
The comment was around any slowness by the government
taking effective measures to return IDPs. Clear intent
to act in concert was visible.
is no doubt, district driven plans for return in all
five northern districts is ready. The first organised
movement took place recently. Two more to follow were
aborted on the due dates. Largely due to UN pressure
around mine clearance certification. The question that
arises is, can the country not make that judgement
professionally without UN certificates? What would be
the fall out of a slowing down of return?
single IDP arriving in 2009, other than those housed in
government constructed shelter are in tents which are
guaranteed to be taken off its pegs with the monsoons.
Around 98% of the close on 9500 toilets have sewage
being released to the soil. Many with plywood boxes
serving as pits. It is common knowledge the soil in an
around the camps do not absorb fluids.
rains will ensure the water mixed with sewage becomes a
common pool invading ground inhabited by IDPs. The very
same agencies who constructed these emergency toilets
continue to muscle their way into more contracts. One in
particular using a senior retired officer to open doors.
of the health centres donated are made to be temporary
and are flimsy and open to the elements. One was not
used since the medical staff refused to work in such
dusty surroundings. Many of these structures are not one
in which you would identify the practice of medicine for
the well being of the sick.
draft document from UNHCR on August 5 for contingency
planning for the rainy seasons in the IDP emergency
shelter sites in
offers this opinion.
scenarios that may emerge during the rainy season
Various scenarios may emerge during the rainy season. It
goes from regular rain which may cause slight damage to
shelters, to a situation where strong winds and rain may
destroy shelters and tents and flood large areas in the
camps. In some cases, cyclones may happen in the north
and east of the country.
Care and maintenance of existing emergency shelter and
• Basic wood structure of emergency shelter kits are
strong enough and can be preserved.
• Plastic structures are being replaced when damaged.
• Technical improvements being done on fixing the
plastic sheets to avoid damages
by heavy wind and rain.
• Light plastic sheets forming the walls of the shelter
might need to be replaced
by stronger plastic sheets.
Drainage of roads inside the camps
initially understood that camp infrastructure works,
including drainage, were the responsibility of the local
authorities. However, in June, the government informed
UNHCR that they will not have the capacity to do the
drainage in the camps and requested UNHCR’s support.
to be stressed that these works are being made in an
emergency situation, while the international community
was not prepared to take over such an important
responsibility. More importantly, such works may not
eliminate the impact of a natural disaster, such as a
cyclone bringing heavy rain and winds. The works planned
will only minimise the impact of a large rainfall.’
government is held responsible for the welfare of the
IDPs though the actual facilities are given by
international agencies. Sheltered under plastic sheets!
Return is slowed by the very agencies who clamoured for
swift return. Ironically the highly paid staff drawing
close on one million rupees a month to keep an watchful
eye on shelter could with all their ingenious plans
provide only emergency facilities preparing the way for
the next emergency at very handsome dividend for agency
and personnel alike!
raising has innovative presentations where the CHAP
shows money raised by individual agencies as part of
what has been raised by the UN thereby showing
inflated figures. Another development has been the
heightened suspicion about the motives of some of the
staff of the international agencies for engaging in
activities incompatible with their status including
those who seem needed for UN/INGO security liaison in a
government controlled country.
This country continues to be suckered by these
profiteers who enrich themselves at terrible cost to
our people while continuing to feather their insidious