Three years ago I was in Yida, a chaotic immensely dirty refugee camp. It had a very short airstrip where pilots had to use all their skills to manage to take off in time as well as to stop before hitting some shelters. Now there is a wide and long airstrip, the refugee shelters are no longer almost build on top of one another and it’s a lot cleaner.
But it is still miserable. People suffer from war trauma’s. Children who saw their families butchered, women who were raped, men who witnessed their wives and daughters being molested. And they have nothing. Lost everything. What they have is what they get from aid organisations and that is often not enough.
I will have to stay here – hopefully for not too long – until the fighting in the Nuba Mountains has died down to proceed to my final destination.
I am not the only one who is using the camp of the Diocese of El Obeid (Sudan) as a waiting area. Parked in the compound is a big truck with Kenyan license plates and two containers from Germany with education material. Destination are schools in the Nuba Mountains.
The drivers said it took them from the port of Mombasa (Kenya) to here 12 days. True it’s a long distance but if there would have been reasonable roads they could have done it in less than half the time.
But South Sudan has dirt roads, which are not maintained and often dangerous due to “highway” bandits. The truckers and I are waiting for good news from the Nuba Mountains.
In the meantime, they do little repairs on their truck. And I walk around the camp and wonder when the ducks in the compound will end up on our dinner plates.