Kentzou, March 25 2014
Viola! Finally my team and I arrived in a small village named Kentzou. It is located in the central of Cameroon’s tropical rain-forest which is at the borderline between Cameroon and Central Africa Repubic (CAR). “It’s only about 5 kilometers to the borderline,” says Hassan Mousa, our local guide.
Kentzou is very close to Bangui, the capital city of CAR. This is the main reason why the majority of refugees came to Kentzou even though there are no suitable shelters, enough water, electricity, and food.
Just a few minutes after my team had arrived, I saw hundreds of people came to the village by trucks. They are new refugees who come from some regions in CAR. UNHCR reports there are more than 27,000 refugees in the village and the numbers will grow more and more.
It was very sad to see a huge numbers of refugees, tents and shelters in “the settlement.” As far as I can see, there are thousands of refugees and the white tents are every where. Oh God, please help these people!
My team tried to work as fast as we could. We met the local leaders, UNHCR officers, and police in order to distribute food, such as rice, sugar, vegetable oil, and canned meat. Seeing a huge number of refugees makes me feel sad while giving aid to them. Mournful eyes and tired faces make me feel disappointed. We trusted and cooperated with the local authority to distribute the foods.
When I was speaking with some refugees who were in line for the food, a teenager named Abdoullah showed me some pictures about the conflict in CAR. It was so brutal. The pictures reveal some victims who were burned by the militias. I still cannot believe why in this modern era they still do those uncivilized genocide. Abdoullah also told us about cannibalism and that the human meat is sold about $1 per kilogram in the Central Africa’s regions. I read about that in the news but I have never thought that it was true. But Abdoullah said, “Wallahi, wallahi, wallahi, (I swear in the name of Allah, the God)!” Only God knows, I think.
After we were done with food distribution, my team surveyed some places that could be dug for water pump plants. Our plan with our local NGO, AHASS, was to create two water pumps in Kentzou.
Tomorrow we will move to another camp and shelter in Garoua Boulai which is about 200 kilometers from Kentzou.
I am typing in my small tablet without internet access here. The next e-mail will be sent to you guys after we arrive and get internet access in Bertoua.
M. Sabeth Abilawa
Dompet Dhuafa Volunteer