For Burundian refugees in Tanzania, support from DRC comes through shelter and latrinesA total of 24,326 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Nduta camp in North Western Tanzania have benefited from transitional shelters and latrines constructed by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) with support from EU humanitarian Aid.
Tanzania currently hosts more than 258,500 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in three camps namely Nduta, Mtendeli and Nyarugusu. DRC operates in the first two camps. Turisongeye Florida, 34, and a mother of 4 is one of the Burundis who have fled the country for Tanzania.
“I lived in a tent with my family. During sunny days, I could not stay inside the tent because of heat. Even my children, after coming back from school, they could not rest inside due to the temperature,” said Turisongeye.
Turisongeye was among the 24,326 who benefited from shelters and latrines aimed at improving their quality of life.
The shelters are made of mud-bricks but roofed with corrugated iron sheeting. The latrines have cement floors. Both are built under a community approach that involves the beneficiaries in the constructions work.
“Four people from my family were involved in the construction; myself, my son and my two daughters,’’ said Ntalindi Kiasiga, 45, a widow with 5 children.
“My son was making the bricks with help from DRC’s incentive workers. My daughters and I were picking water for the construction” added Ntalindi.
Beneficiaries say they can now sleep in their shelters as it is more comfortable than the plastic sheeting they previously used.
“Before the shelters the family could go up to three times a month to the hospital because of malaria [due to sleeping out in the night because of the heat in the plastic sheeting, ed.]. Now, we have spent three months without any infections,” said Turisongeye, the mother of four.
The shelters made by DRC are also much harder to break into unlike the plastic sheeting.
“Due to use of plastic sheet in emergency shelter, thieves were given easy chances to enter inside. One day when I was not at home they [thieves, ed.] stolen my blanket, phone, cooking utensil, flour and buckets,’’ said Nduwimana Consolata, 40.
Nduwimana says the shelter has improved the safety of the family property. ‘‘We can now lock the door,’’ she said.
Shedrack Bugeraha, a Shelter engineer with DRC reckons that the “The brick materials used for the walling the shelters prevents damages from external environment’’ adding that ‘‘the latrines are also a great improvement because the floors are made of cement which makes cleaning easier.’’
The shelters and latrines were built by DRC in Nduta camp between July 2016 and June 2017. The 24,326 benefiaries got 5,032 shelters and 3,848 latrines.
Most refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania fled from Burundi in April 2015 when an impasse between the government and opposition led to unrest in Burundi leading to thousands fleeing the country for Tanzania.
DRC has been operating in Tanzania (in Nduta and Mtendeli camp) since 2015 following the influx of Burundian refugees in the country. DRC implements Camp Management (CCCM), Shelter/construction, Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH), Livelihoods, Protection and Community Based Protection (CBP) activities in Nduta and Mtendeli camps. In 2018, DRC will become a World Food Programme partner for general food distributions (GFD).