By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab
Tripoli, 5 January 2014
Following the recently fire and flooding at the Tawergha refugee camp on Tripoli’s airport road, a group of young volunteers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society in Tripoli visited it and other camps on Saturday morning to begin a database to help in providing relief aid and some other health services. Conditions in most of the camps where the Tawerghans have been forced to stay are grim.
The database aims at establishing the exact number of families living at each camp as well as the total number of members in each family.
Camp workers had earlier reported difficulties in creating a comprehensive and accurate database of Tawerghan refugees, not least because a number of families are currently living with relatives or friends while others are in rented accommodation, said to be bad condition, because of fears that, in the camps, they could be easily located and attacked.
As a result of the heavy rains last month, around 100 families at the Airport Road camp lost most of their belongings when their makeshift homes were flooded, according to the UNHCR. Others have h simply ad to live with leaking prefabricated units. The Fellah camp, which has some 255 families (1240 individuals) was also badly affected, as was its school. Several elderly people had to be hospitalised.
Of Tawergha’s population of around 30,000 before NATO’s war on Libya, it is estimated that two-thirds – some 20,000 – are living in camps across the country.
Meanwhile, it has just been revealed by the government that it has set up a committee to facilitate the return of displaced people in the country, but not of those from Tawergha. It will deal with displaced people from places such as Batin Al-Jabal and Umm-Al-Far.
There are, according to UNHCR, still some 55,000 internally displaced people in Libya.