Through a Mother’s Eyes: Life in Nduta Refugee Camp

Aid & development, Water, sanitation & hygiene article written on the 09 Feb 2017

godebrite mother nduta

Refugee Camps in Tanzania

Everyone has a story. The Nduta refugee camp in Tanzania is home to more than 55,000 personal stories of survival and hope. This camp opened in 2015 after the nearby Nygarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania reached capacity.

Over the next few weeks we are focusing on the refugees in Tanzania. We invite you to get to know a few of the people we have met there as they open up about their experiences, hardships and the silver linings that inspire them with hope.

A first time mum living in the Nduta refugee camp

Photo: Phil Moore/Oxfam
“The food we get isn’t very nutritious, that is the biggest challenge we have.”

Godeberite* was heavily pregnant when she arrived at the Nduta refugee camp. She had come to Tanzania on foot but then had to wait two weeks to be given a tent to live in plus a starter pack of household equipment. Since those urgent, early days back in November 2015 she has given birth to her first child, Victor*.

*names changed to protect their identy

Food in Nduta

Getting enough to eat, and a varied diet, is something hard to come by in Nduta. Godebrite attributes the problem to “the lack of financial income so we can’t buy food of our own choice.” She has even tried to grow her own beans “but there is not sufficient sunlight for them to grow” as the camp is situated under leafy trees.

“When I came here pregnant the situation was not good for me as we were only given maize or beans to eat, my diet was not balanced. They did give pregnant women milk but as everything was open people would come and steal milk from me.”

After Victor was born, the food rationing continued. “The food we are given is often not enough, there are three of us, me my husband and my baby. They give us one and a half platefuls of green peas…”

Water in Nduta

Photo: Mary Mndeme/Oxfam

Water does a lot more than quench thirst. It provides sanitation, preventing illnesses in a place where large numbers of people live together. “…If I had no access to clean water I would have had a much more difficult life. Right now I have access to clean water and that’s why I am healthy. If I did not have this it would been very easy to get infections.”

Godebrite, a first-time mother, is simply glad that the Nduta refugee camp has fresh water. Her family has a better chance of staying healthy.

Photo: Mary Mndeme/Oxfam
An Oxfam water tank at Nduta. It can hold 95,000 litres and serve more than 10,000 people when full.

While the people living at Nduta are out of immediate danger, they have long years of poverty ahead which they’re facing with bravery and ingenuity. Oxfam is on the ground helping them establish small businesses which provide the community with essential services while also improving livelihoods.

You can help Godebrite and other refugees in Tanzania find the means to improve their lives.

Build hope in Tanzania

Please donate today to help families living in refugee camps in Tanzania build hope for the future.

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