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Baking under scorching sun in Hulhumale’

19 February 2006 No Comment

“Every human being shall have the right to be protected against being arbitrarily displaced from his or her home or place of habitual residence…
Displacement shall last no longer than required by the circumstances.”
UN Commission on Human Rights, Guiding Principle on Internal Displacement, 1988

We visited Hulhumale’ while temporary shelters were being built for the tsunami victims. Our first thoughts were on how they would be able to live there. Anybody who knows Hulhumale’ would know the barren landscape there. Like the aftermath of a nuclear war. The ceilings in the temporary shelters were so low while the corrugated iron sheets would trap the heat. The ‘rooms’ for each family was so small that it looked like they were there to be baked under the hot sun.

I was there when the first groups of survivors were moved to those shelters. I saw the tears in the eyes of an elderly lady; I saw the pain felt by a woman who had to share a tiny ‘room’ with her husband and children.

Now a five-country study by international charities ActionAid International, People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning (PDHRE) and Habitat International Coalition’s The Housing and Land Rights Network (HIC-HLRN) sheds light on the housing condition of tsunami survivors in Hulhumale’ and other islands.

Similarly, in the Maldives, temporary shelters are largely made of plywood with metal roofs. These structures do not have windows, leak when it rains and are extremely hot during the day.

“The heat was unbearable. When the rains came we had to stay inside the shelters which were hot and humid.”
Resident, Hulhumale temporary shelters, the Maldives

This is the same study that Minivan News has reported and we blogged about. The study reveals human rights conditions of tsunami survivors in Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives. The report was released at UN Headquarters.

Here is the report for your reference.

written by: niOS

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