• Europe Must Act

SHARING VOICES: From the camps in Vial and Chios

Before we begin, let's consider the basics 🧼


A bar of soap is not enough to keep clean. You could have 1000 bars of soap and still not be in any way clean without running water. Whilst NGOs are (rightly) focused on getting hygiene kits on camps, we must not forget that, with no access to running water, our supplies are not helping to protect people from coronavirus (or anything else).


1. How do I wash my hands properly? 🧼👏

UNICEF:

* Step 1: Wet hands with 𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫

* Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover 𝐰𝐞𝐭 hands

* Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands for at least 20 seconds.

* Step 4: 𝐑𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐞 thoroughly with 𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫

* Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel

Now for the latest updates and voices from Vial Camp 🗣️

Duration of running water in Vial Camp on 11th April:

Area A: 20 minutes

Area B: 1 hour (14.00-15.00)

Area C: 2.5 hours (14.00-17.30)



Residents tell us this kind of access is typical most days. We also hear statements from people on camp telling us they are without water for full days. NGOs and volunteers are told not to worry by those on camp because

“this is not the first time it is happening”.

The resilience of residents always shames us 😞:

“People have started digging wells due to lack of water”

Thanks to Biryani and Bananas NGO, we have picture evidence of these wells. This is the desperation WE have driven people to in a bid to protect themselves:

“We left our countries trying to survive and be safe, unfortunately, we are dying in Europe in the place that we thought we would find peace and better life […] We wish we could go back and die in our countries rather than live this miserable life”

Lest we forget, OUR inaction is endangering those at chronic risk of coronavirus if it reaches the camp:

“I was on camp today, the situation is very, very bad and there is no way to protect ourselves against the virus. It is a bad thing”

Aside from the dignity, we strip people of, and the Rights we remove by staying silent at this time, we are perpetuating the need for unsafe good structures that put children at risk…

One final comment from Vial 😔:

"This is our suffering for days. There is no water and there is a large line if there is water. The problem is we are at the beginning of the coming summer. We wash in drinking water, how do we drink water if we wash with it? There is also a lack of hygroscopes, medication for washing clothes, and general antiseptics."


As we read these facts and hear the experiences of people (like us, just elsewhere), let’s remember that two Universal Human Rights being broken at this moment, on our European continent:


➡️The Right to water: entitles everyone to have access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.


➡️The Right to sanitation: Entitles everyone to have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, and socially and culturally acceptable and that provides privacy and ensures dignity.


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