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Kerfi is a village which represents the plight of many such communities in Eastern Chad . Kerfi's 10,000 black Africans are currently hosting an additional 5,000 internally displaced Chadians due to the numerous brutal Janjaweed (Arab militia) attacks which continue throughout this region. In Eastern Chad , only 3 per cent of the population of host communities has access to safe drinking water and less than 1 per cent of families in rural areas use latrines. Fifty per cent of deaths among children under five are related to malnutrition. Twenty per cent of all children do not live to see their 5 th birthday.

Doctors Without Borders ( Médecins Sans Frontières -MSF) reported on 02 Mar 2007:

"In Kerfi, for instance, a remote location 40 kilometers south of Goz Beida, the displaced are still living in very basic, make-shift shelters made out of straw and desperately require food, blankets, plastic sheeting for shelter and hygiene kits", says MSF nurse Elin Jones. "But apart from our weekly mobile clinic services they have not received any assistance to date."

The main health problems are respiratory tract infections, diarrhea and eye infections - conditions that are closely related to poor living conditions.

"The high incidence of diarrhea indicates that there is not enough water and specifically, a lack of clean drinking water," says Jones.

"We have also seen an increase in malnutrition among children who are the most vulnerable in a camp setting. We are concerned that people have lost their coping mechanisms and after several months of living in harsh conditions, may deteriorate rapidly."


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