TSF connects a new refugee camp in Mangaize and reactivates the connection in Banibangou to support the Malian refugees

from Télécoms Sans Frontières
Published on 05 Jul 2013 View Original

In the Sahel region, security conditions have dramatically deteriorated since the arrival of a wave of Malian refugees in the neighbouring country in March 2012. The conflict between the national army and the Malian rebel movement, forced much of the population to flee the country. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 353,400 people have moved out of their homes to other parts of Mali, and almost 175,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.

In order to reinforce the aid brought to this vulnerable population, TSF supplies high-speed satellite communications, the reliability and rapidity of which ensure an improved coordination between the organisations in the field. After having connected refugee camps in Abala (Niger), Gorom-Gorom and Djibo (Burkina Faso) as well as Banibangou (Niger), where the connection was suspended in September 2012, TSF brought a connection to a new camp in Mangaize.

According to the data provided by the UNHCR, there are almost 7,845 refugees in the camp set up in Mangaize, south-west Niger, which represents a total of 2,016 families. On 1st July 2013, a TSF team installed a VSAT fixed satellite antenna in the offices of Islamic Relief, who are also present on the ground. This humanitarian hub offers a high-speed, secure Wi-Fi connection to the dozens of people working for various NGOs, as well as UN agencies, all of whom require a connection for the efficient day-to-day management and coordination of their information.

Moreover, following an increase in humanitarian action in the area, on 4th June 2013, the connection in Banibangou was reactivated. The VSAT satellite antenna, installed by TSF in the CARE International offices, provides support to VSF, Oxfam and Karkara as well as Banibangou town council.

The Nigerian towns of Mangaize and Banibangou, situated only a few kilometres from the Malian border, have had to face the enormous influx of refugees fleeing the conflict. Such an increase in the number of refugees has put particular pressure on the food resources available to the population. The connections supplied by TSF allow humanitarian organisations to gain rapid access to reliable information for an efficient response adapted to the needs of the beneficiaries.