First Individual: Hope and shelter, amid the combating in Burkina Faso

Current unrest within the capital Ouagadougou surrounding the army coup, is simply the most recent instance of instability in Burkina Faso, whose residents have been going through turmoil for over a decade. By the tip of 2021, there have been over 1.5 million internally displaced individuals (IDPs) within the land-locked West African nation, with the nation’s Centre-North and Sahel areas the worst affected.

Since November 2019, 85-year-old Lambda (not his actual identify), has welcomed greater than 100 of his compatriots into his compound within the village of Tougouri after they fled their houses, providing them shelter, meals, and even cash to purchase provides.

“I labored as a cook dinner for 45 years within the prefecture of Tougouri. With the financial savings I had constructed up, I used to be capable of purchase a number of plots of land. Then I constructed a number of homes with the intention to lease them to get some revenue for my retirement.

I began serving to displaced individuals as quickly as they started arriving in Tougouri, within the Centre North area, in November 2019. I heard about armed males attacking and killing individuals in numerous villages, however I have no idea who they have been.  What I do know, is that many individuals got here right here as a result of these assaults.

‘Pitiful scenario’

Once they arrived, they have been in a pitiful scenario that saddened me, and I supplied them with shelter in my homes, freed from cost, earlier than the humanitarian employees constructed extra shelters in my compound for them.

There are at the moment greater than 100 individuals dwelling right here: typically, males go to work in a mining web site earlier than coming again. The truth that these individuals have stayed with us for greater than two years with out main incidents or rigidity, is a supply of consolation and reassures me that I made the precise option to welcome them into my dwelling.  My motto is that folks come earlier than the rest in life!

Retired civil servant Lambda and two of his granddaughters at a water pump in the commune of Tougouri, northern Burkina Faso.

© UNHCR/Barry YN Maxime

Retired civil servant Lambda and two of his granddaughters at a water pump within the commune of Tougouri, northern Burkina Faso.

Joyful to assist

I’m completely satisfied to assist them and really feel myself helpful by serving to others.

Nevertheless, typically what hurts me essentially the most is to see IDP youngsters who wouldn’t have meals with out having the ability to assist them.  I’ve typically helped them with meals or cash, however I need to admit that it is little or no.

I name for the humanitarian actors to strengthen meals help for displaced individuals and to construct extra shelters. I don’t intend to take again my homes quickly, however because the saying goes “even when the kid doesn’t cry, he wants his mom”. That is to say that I’m beneath strain as I don’t get revenue from the homes.

Can’t hand over

What is definite is that I can now not hand over, I’ll proceed to assist individuals in want as a result of it’s what offers which means to my life. The rationale why I helped them is that displaced individuals are human beings like me, and what they’re going by now can occur to me too. I could not bear to see them sleeping exterior on the mercy of the chilly and mud.

I’ve realized that you could get individuals’s recognition and respect if you assist them. I’m grateful for the gratitude and appreciation proven by the individuals who now dwell with us. This offers me emotions and feelings that cash can’t purchase.”

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