Nyarugusu (Tanzania): the WFP distributed inedible beans to refugees

Nyarugusu (Tanzania): the WFP distributed inedible beans to refugees

At the end of October, the WFP (World Food Program) distributed poor quality beans to Nyarugusu camp in Tanzania. Refugees approached the UNHCR and the camp administration. A rogatory commission has been set up. Conclusions are overwhelming : beans distributed are “inedible”. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

It is the Congolese who first received these beans distributed at the same time with rice and maize grains. In the evening of the day of the distribution, all the families grumbled.

“We received beans that cannot be cooked”, they revolted.

The next day, pots and pans filled with these “beans” were brought to the offices of the UNHCR and the camp administration. The situation calmed down quickly.

Two weeks later, the turn of Burundians arrived, but they refused to receive the assistance.

“We refused these beans because they are inedible”, they reacted.

At the end of November, a rogatory commission was put in place. It includes the president of the camp, representatives of the refugees, the UNHCR, the WFP and the Tanzanian Ministry of Interior which is in charge of the management of refugees and asylum seekers.

“A place has been well furnished with large steel pots. Several tree trunks were used as firewood to cook 10kg of beans in each pot. The finding was that no bean grain was cooked for more than 6 hours”, report members of the commission who concluded that these beans are not edible.

The WFP ordered to empty the stock

“Since the quantity of firewood each refugee receives, since these beans take a long time to be partially cooked, you are requested to change this variety of bean and bring another of good quality. And empty the stock as soon as possible”, recommended to the WFP, the rogatory commission.

Refusal to comply

Three weeks later, refugees find that the stock has not yet changed.
They monitored this stock morning, noon and night and said that “no bags have been moved and we are concerned that the same product will be put in the next delivery”.

They call on the UNHCR and the Tanzanian Ministry of Interior to act.

For the moment, a showdown seems to be taking place between refugees’ managers, namely humanitarian workers on one side and the government on the other.

Use of sweet potato leaves

In the meantime, to try to supplement the food ration, refugees prefer to eat sweet potato leaves.

“This is the first time I have eaten these vegetables. But since I can’t eat the corn dough alone, I have no choice. And besides, these vegetables are more sold in the market now”, explains a Burundian refugee, father of eight children.

More than 120,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees from the Nyarugusu camp are asking authorized bodies to “find a solution to this problem which has just persisted”.

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