The story below was submitted to the Kurdish Project by Abdi, a teacher working at Makhmour Refugee Camp in northern Iraq. We encourage you to share your story too (Photo above courtesy of www.spiritofamerica.net).
Save Makhmour Refugee Camp in Northern Iraq
By: Abdi, a teacher working at the camp June 2015
I have been living the refugee life since 1995. The following information is a small sample of our life here, but we need to be connected to more people, and to share our stories.
From 1990-1994, some 20,000 Kurdish refugees crossed the Turkish-Iraqi border, and became immigrants to this country. Since then some of these people have moved more than eight times to different camps.
They have lived in bad and hard conditions. Because they weren’t provided any regular help, many if not most refugees have lost their children, houses, parents, and everything.
Really, I cannot fully explain refugee situation during that time. It is a subject to be written by professional writers and novelists. It’s the only way to properly describe what happened to these people, and how they have been able to stand up again.
They have been facing, for example, illness, lack of food and drinking water. On top of this, people often do not know what would happen to them next day. Kurdish refugees had no choice but to come to Makhmour Town, an area between Mosul, Kirkuk and Erbil in northern Iraq.
This place isn’t suitable and safe for refugees to live.The area of Makhmour feels like the Sahara desert with no green space or trees around.
Because Makhmour is on the border of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the troubled area now under attack by the so called Islamic State. In addition to security issues there are several other pressing and urgent practical problems in Makhmour refugee camp.
There is no provision of basic health care, no clean drinking water, no primary education for children. Especially lack of enough drinking water is very urgent and many of refugees die because of drinking contaminated water. Most of the victims are children, or the elderly women and men.
This is a list of our needs at the camp for the urgent attention of humanitarian aid and refugee agencies in the World:
- A provision of basic health care in this camp.
- We need safe and clean drinking water.
- In summer there is only 3 hours electricity in the camp, we need more time.
- We need to build schools for our children.
- Refugees living in Makhmour camp need jobs to help themselves to survive.
- The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and other local authorities should assess our needs and should provide security protection as well as deliver our basic needs.
We urge the international community, refugee and humanitarian agencies to listen to us and to help us in this difficult time and before it is too late.
If you’re interested in learning how to help Abdi and Makhmour refugee camp, reach out to The Kurdish Project at [email protected]