OXFORD, ENGLAND — Oxfam International warned today that its aid effort in eastern Chad is three weeks away from total shut down when it will be forced to turn off the water for more than 100,000 people. Fighting in the capital Ndjamena over the weekend has cut supply lines going to the east, where 470,000 refugees and displaced people are dependent on humanitarian aid. The agency is calling on the UN and donors to open up an airlift of aid and alternative land link to get the aid through.
“If we don’t get more fuel for the water pumps and fresh people in to run the aid effort, we will be forced to turn off the taps for 110,000 people within the next three weeks at best. We are calling on the UN and donors to organize an air lift from neighboring Cameroon and a reliable food and fuel supply line in order to keep providing clean water and humanitarian aid to refugees and displaced Chadians,” said Nick Roseveare, Regional Director for West Africa.
The aid effort is running on empty. Oxfam International will face shortages of cash, fuel and food within the next three weeks, if the security situation does not improve.
“We have around three weeks of stock that will allow us to keep our operations going in eastern Chad, but our top priority is to be able to rotate our staff to keep the program going,” said Roseveare.
The fighting has completely cut off the landlocked eastern region from the rest of the country and the outside world for almost a week. International flights have stopped. There have been no flights between Ndjamena and the rest of the country for one week.
Oxfam International's operations are focused on providing water and sanitation, protection and health promotion to more 110,000 people. There are nearly half a million people displaced in Eastern Chad. The majority of them are refugees from the Darfur conflict.
Oxfam International has evacuated international staff from the capital but is keeping staff in the east to continue its operations. They are delivering life-saving water operations and they are stretched to full capacity, working around the clock.