Remote Fireplace Starters

Pawamtoré: story of environmentally-displaced

Pawamtoré (I do not come here with a heavy heart) is the name given by the victims ouagalais their new village. Yagma officially called, a village situated about twenty kilometers from Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) completely changed its face after the floods of September 1, 2009 which claimed many victims in the capital of Burkina Faso.

recall events: 1 September 2009, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, was hit by heavy rains that flooded much of the city, leaving a legacy of broken families. It was not uncommon to have water up to his chest, and even above the head. In addition to numerous casualties, donkeys, chickens, goats and other animals, allowing many people to live have also disappeared. Many have lost everything, until their identity papers, which becomes a problem if we want to qualify for government assistance. Moreover, the State responded to the crisis in the early moments. Even today, two months before national elections, it continues to be involved, in addition to the presence of international organizations on the ground.

A roof provided by the State
Following the floods, many people were left destitute, without residence. The state then evacuees housed at various locations, for example in schools or at the racetrack. Some stayed up to four months. Several of the victims lived in areas previously unallotted Ouagadougou. These are then not allowed to rebuild to where they previously lived. Rather, they were assigned a plot to Yagma, twenty kilometers from Ouagadougou. Included with the parcel of land was donated bags of cement and steel to allow people to build their new home. But to qualify for this plot, we need identity cards. We met a young man fighting for access to its plot, although his papers are gone with the flood. What then?

International aid
Entering Yagma, we immediately notice the tents of the Red Cross / Crescent, along with semi-built homes of adobe, some covered with a tin roof, other houses without roofs at all. What must be said is that although the state has provided assistance to each claimant, some had to sell part of lot granted or all, for various reasons, such as being able to eat or treatment. Fortunately, international organizations are still in place, including Help and UN-HABITAT. They reconstruction projects for and with people. UNICEF has also promised to build latrines, which are sorely missing.

The Flood Yagma are satisfied with the assistance received by the Red Cross / Crescent and Help, which they consider to be well-structured organizations. The promised aid is assistance received. However, they are more reluctant to believe the promises of the state. For example, they were promised electricity. Okay. But when?

The village Yagma changing face
Before the floods, Yagma was a village with large fields cultivated by its inhabitants. Today is a village cut in two: on one side, there are the natives (who lived there before the floods), the other evacuees who were relocated to the fields where Native Yagma cultivated land. The locals are therefore left without land to cultivate. Needless to say, tensions were high with the arrival of disaster. As host, they cut almost all the shea trees that were in the fields.

Peace is now back between the two clans, as awareness has been made on both sides. In addition, the state has promised to compensate them for Aboriginal land they have taken from them. But these people find themselves still without land to cultivate, and must rely on the so-called " small business "or informal trade. A complete change of lifestyle ...

As Disaster Yagma, they renamed their new village Pawamtoré, which means" I have not come by myself " or "I do not come here with a heavy heart." The city now find themselves in the bush, away from the means that enabled them to survive, schools where their children were, etc.. The victims have mostly residences half-built and should live in tents provided by the Red Cross, with lots of disadvantages that it brings. Indeed, the robbers come easily to infiltrate these temporary dwellings, by cutting the canvas with a knife. Similarly, they were not designed for the rainy season, which means that each rain, water seeps. In addition, at dusk, the village becomes dangerous. There is no police presence in the field and acts of violence are common after dark.

Finally, there are serious problems of access to water. Two pumps were built, but when these pumps were broken, no casualty has been able to repair them due to lack of training. The water is present, but inaccessible. Accordingly, you should walk three to four kilometers to refuel water. The victims claim compensation from these wells, but they place the ball. Does the State to repair these pumps? Or international organizations? But first, who built these pumps? Nobody knows.

Life goes
At Yagma, life is not easy. But as the victims themselves say, as there is life, we must move forward, continue to fight. Despite the misfortunes they still live today they smile. It's a great lesson in life ...

Source: Institute of Environmental Sciences, Montreal