Days of heavy rains sending flood waters throughout all 27 IDP camps in the Duhok/Mosul area of Iraq have turned what was already a miserable living situation for refugees into a swamp of mud with more rain on its way.
With floods comes sickness, disease, stress, depression, and for many, loss of the shelter they had called “home.” They can’t help but wonder-- will our lives ever be normal again.
Conscience International Project Engineer Robert Smucker was already in Iraq, preparing to return to the U.S. when he cancelled his flight plans and decided to stay on to oversee the building of an emergency retaining wall to bring some relief to the camp occupants.
The first order of business was to move 26 families to temporary locations, then to gather experienced men from among the refugees to do the building, a program that also gives them some much-needed income.Most of the people in the camp where Robert is working are Yazidi from Sinjar, a region that ISIS over-ran in 2014, killing some 10,000 men according to news reports, capturing women and children, forcing them to convert to Islam and marry ISIS soldiers, raping, imprisoning, and torturing over a three-year period. The fortunate few managed to escape to IDP camps where they still “live”. (See Conscience International November newsletter for the full story).
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