Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Copy of an email I sent to my JMD/BBF associates yesterday . . .

. . . that I'm angry enough to post here.

Dear All:
D called me this morning and I asked her to prepare a written report on what she told me which is below. I also talked to her about what our next steps should be and they are also listed on the report. I cannot tell you how angry and betrayed I feel by this. People have just sat back and watched us work like dogs and knew we never had to do all that. The local leader has been stealing since day one and no one cared. We have said it over and over. We have begged everyone for help, even IOM, who said they did not have the money and in the meantime they are making a mess of the camp. Where were they when we started ???? Anyway, enough bitching and complaining. Here is where we are now. We are further back than we were before. We have a camp that is not being run at all. There has been a lot of stealing and we cannot stop it since we have no authority. Now we are in a position where everyone who worked on the camp from the locals to the few Internationals have all pulled their support out. Now, if IOM doesn't keep its support up we have no fish. We have no drinking water, we have nothing since the people handling it all are insulted, as well they should be. But now who is going to buy all this? IOM??? WE NOW HAVE A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM ON OUR HANDS.

D and I discussed what we wanted to do. I guess we could try to rebuild the relationships we had going and get things back to normal but I am not sure we want to do that since as we had no authority we were not given any respect. We also do not have the contacts to get in touch with people at IOM, UNHCR etc and complain. And even if we did complaining it would do us no good. I’m waiting to see what Dina has to say after her meetings, then we can decide if we want to just pull up stakes and leave or if we want to make a go of it. If IOM had so much money why weren't they building latrines and barracks???? I am too angry to go on. PLEASE READ D'S REPORT (BELOW) AND FEEL FREE TO COMMENT.

N told me the following on the first night I met him, it will be more tomorrow, I believe, when I'm meeting Assistant I, seeing the camp, and calling up people (IOM, JRS, and HELP).
· IOM had been in the camp for the last 1,5 months or so since they came the first time to undertake the first stage of the verification mandate.
· They had been supplying the camp with many things; hygiene kits, fresh fish, canned food, etc without asking the camp for any donation report.
· So, IOM basically was supplying same things that other NGOs had done for the camp. There double supplies in the camp.
· FPRM, with the funds transferred from us, supplied water (for drinking and cooking) to the camp every day. Suddenly, IOM started supplying water for drinking last week. So, N decided only to supply water for cooking then, instead of doubling everything.
· It seems that IOM gave money to the camp for paying the drinking water. Today, they just found out that the camp had been cheating them. The camp reported they paid for 7 trucks of drinking water every day, while there were only 4 trucks delivered to the camp. The same thing with rice, IOM gave money to buy 10 sacks of rice (you know they have plenty of rice), but there are only 6 sacks delivered to the refugees. Save the children supplied 400 packs of hygiene kits to the camp before UNHCR team arrived, and suddenly IOM delivered toothpaste and soaps to the camp on the same week.
· There's a group of fishermen in Idi, headed by 'Panglima Laot' - the commander, who collected fish from every boat that came back from the sea, and delivered fresh fish to the camp every day either for breakfast, lunch or dinner. N didn't supply fresh fish, he only delivered salted fish to the camp which is fine. That's why N didn't spend so much on fish for the refugees, other than fresh fish, they still have canned sardines in the warehouse
· IOM also supplied fresh fish to the camp without checking if anyone from the village had done so. The group who had been supplying fish to the camp since day 1, was very offended and decided to stop supplying fresh fish, since they believed IOM took that over.
· Now, IOM realized they had been fooled by the camp, and R (the person in charge in the camp) went back to Banda to report about this to his office. N said it seems they're not going to stop supplying the camp after this incident. It is horrible for us to clean the mess they made.
· According to what N said, it sounded like IOM was trying to work with FPRM in the camp, but N refused because IOM has ignored their suggestions since the beginning. IOM will keep one staff placed in the camp--I don't know what for.
· N had tried applying the inventory system in the camp. He has put locks on the warehouse, and record keeping, so anyone taking out supplies from the warehouse needed to sign, and be checked by the refugee representative. But the records between the logistic person, the kitchen coordinator, and the refugee representative on the inventory supplies were never balanced. The lock had been damaged intentionally a couple of times, and things were missing from the warehouse.
· JRS tried to come and offered to work together with FPRM on the camp, but N refused to do it. I'm glad that N never said no to work with us on the refugee camp like he has done to JRS and IOM.
· Other than IOM and this fishermen’s group, no one delivers donations to the camp anymore. They still have plenty of rice, and canned sardines, but the instant noodles are spoiled already.
· Camat now has no idea how to take care of these refugees since he has run out of money (which I believe been donated to the camp, but never recorded and reported properly). He actually contacted me on Sunday but he didn't ask for anything, just asking when I'm coming down to Idi.
· IOM had donated a refrigerator to the camp to store fresh fish, so I'm not going to buy a refrigerator.

Therefore, my plan is:
· I'm going to meet with assistant I first, check with him about what he knows about the camp situation. I will ask him again to ask the camat to make an accountable report.
· I'll call R, the IOM guy in charge in the camp for the last two months. Getting information on donations IOM had delivered to the camp, and asking them if they want to continue. They should work with us.
· I'll call L from JRS to find out the status of their plan to help the refugees, and how we can actually work together on this.
· I'll go to the camp and see how it's going on there. If the Camat asks me for any money, I'll pretend the money we received had been returned a month ago. We can ask for other NGOs to donate in-kind to the camp, but only if a proper report is available. You may not agree with this strategy, but we're not giving any money to the camp or deliver any fresh food directly without confirming with N, or else FPRM will not work for us anymore.

No comments :

Post a Comment