ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan− Life of Syrian refugees in Kwelan Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan varies among “sickness, death, poverty, unemployment, imprisonment, hot summer and, recently, fire.” Abo Shiro, one of the camp residents, told ARA News “fire reached five tents in the camp due to gas tube misusing. It started in one tent then spread quickly to the surrounding tents to raven our money, clothes and personal documents”.

Siwar, one of the fire survivals, told ARA News: “Nothing was left from the fire. Even the money handful, that we had, has burnt into a sad black reek surrounding the miserable camp of Kwelan, castaway in Kurdistan desert.”

Amer, a resident of Kwelan Refugee Camp, talked to ARA News about the living conditions in the camp saying: “We were surprised. We did not expect such bad conditions. If you want to ask me, why people stay despite of this misery, I will simply say that most of the refugees came from contested areas in Syria, such as Aleppo city, Afrin, Tellaran, Tel Hasil, Ras al Ain (Sere Kaniye), Hasakah city and Damascus. Most of them have directly suffered from the ongoing war and it is impossible for them to return now, so they are obliged to stay.”

According to Bave Shinda, one of the humanitarian workers in the camp, “refugees in Kwelan Camp suffer a daily tragedy with the diseases that result from the bad sewage system and water pollution”.

“Recently, we had increasing rates of diarrhea, enteritis and gastritis. Moreover, we have big fear of Cholera outbreak again, as last time we had it in (Iraqi) Kurdistan was in 2012. Not to mention the huge number of mice which transfer numerous dangerous diseases such as plague and tuberculosis,” Bave Shinda told ARA News.

“The other serious problem for the refugees is not having residence permits, consequently being unable to find a job. The refugees feel like they are living in a jail,” he added.       

Bave Shinda also pointed out some other difficulties which refugees in Kwelan Camp face, such as “medicine scarcity and absence of nearby hospitals”.

“We only have a first-aid clinic. There are many cases of psychological disturbances among the camp’s residents due to the poor conditions, which have apparently affected all age groups,” he said. “Smoking became a habit among young girls, as well as many cases of hysteria, neurosis and psychological disturbance among children. All these lead to physically and psychologically unhealthy generation.” 

The residents of Kwelan Camp complain that the camp became a nest of communicable diseases and severe psychological disturbances.


Reporting by: Azad Jemkari

Source: ARA News


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