Disaster in the Desert
A humanitarian crisis of epic proportions is unfolding in Chad. Relief efforts are stretched to breaking point in the bid to help hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees.
"We're talking about 180,000 human beings settled in camps where access will not be possible during the rainy season," despairs aid worker Jean Charles Dei. Hundreds of thousands have already fled militia attacks to seek refuge in Chad. They've witnessed unspeakable crimes and lost relatives to the slaughter. "They grabbed our children by the legs and threw them in the fire," describes Mohammed Saleh. "All we do is cry. My heart is breaking," laments 80 year old Sadiya. But their problems may only get worse. When the rainy season comes, the camps will be cut off from the roads. If enough food and water isn't stockpiled then thousands may die. "The situation is now desperate," states Jean Charles. Tensions are also rising between the Sudanese and their hosts in Chad. In the small village of Bahai, 10,000 refugees now compete with the locals for water. A local has been arrested for attacking a refuge with an axe in a dispute over water. But with the UN already thinly stretched in Chad and more and more refugees arriving every day, it's difficult to imagine what the situation will be like in a few months time. (SBS)FULL SYNOPSIS