BURUNDI-DRC: Fitina Ibrahim, "We are using sewage water"

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fitina Ibrahim, 25, left her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo's South Kivu Province on 13 May, fleeing insecurity caused by activities of armed groups in the province. Since arriving in Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, Ibrahim and her four children, with dozens of other Congolese families, have been living under a tree near the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices awaiting help.

"I fled my home in Bubembe [Fizi area of South Kivu] because I feared being raped. We were being attacked, mostly at night, by people we did not know, as well as by the FDLR [Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda rebels active in eastern DRC]. They raid our houses to loot and to rape. They killed my husband; that is when I decided I had to leave to save my life and that of my children.

"Now I have to take care of these children yet I have nothing. Look at us, look at where we live; we sleep right here in the open, with nothing to sleep on or cover ourselves, the mosquitoes bite us all night, it is no use trying to fight them.

"We have no food, we are using sewage water for all our needs, we survive by begging.

"I have been registered with UNHCR but they only recognise two of my children. What will I do with the other two?

"My appeal is to UNHCR and the government of Burundi: Please help us move to a camp; here we are helpless, even gangs try to attack us at night, most of all I fear for my children, I don't know what I would do if they fell sick or if something happened to them. If we were moved to a camp, I would try and plant some crops so I can feed them.

"When the security in our home gets better we will go back."


Source: IRIN
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