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Those who have made it to Mogadishu, often after long journeys by foot, as they flee conflict and famine, end up in the overcrowded makeshift camps dotted around the city.They live in densely packed areas in huts that are made out of plastic sheets or rag cloths supported by twigs.“We have been given chlorinated water, jerry cans and soap. We don’t have many problems here, thanks to God”, she said. We don’t have proper food distribution but we do have enough water.” The legacy of war was obvious But we had lingered long enough and it was time to get back into our vehicle to our next location.My glimpses of the city, behind the tinted windows of our car speeding as fast as it could to avoid being a sitting target, were tantalisingly brief.I visited some of those camps with two Oxfam partners, Hijra, which specialises in providing water, sanitation and hygiene, and SAACID (a Somali word meaning “to help”), whose therapeutic care centres for malnourished children and mothers are supported by Oxfam.But we were under strict security rules and told not to linger in one place for too long.“There is no problem with water now; we have plenty of water all day long” she said.
Gunshots often ring out – sometimes fired into the air by government forces or peacekeepers simply to clear traffic jams because there are no working traffic lights in the city.
Almost all were malnourished; some, dangerously so.
Mothers coming here will receive therapeutic food to help their child’s recovery.
One group of people were energetically sweeping up garbage as we arrived to look at how the community got their water.
In Siliga camp for thousands of the displaced, I met mother of seven, Habiba Osman.
It was in these crammed camps that we spent some of our time seeing how Oxfam-supported projects are providing help to those desperately in need.