It was hard enough coping with flight from conflict-hit areas during the winter months. Now, for the hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Mosul, summer heat is the new challenge.
Having survived ISIL, most families are now bracing themselves to battle their second most dangerous enemy – the sizzling sun and the sweltering temperatures that come with it.
With temperatures nearing 37° Celsius and rising, the coming months will be trying, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM) communications officer Hala Jaber, reporting from the Qayara emergency site south of the embattled zone.
IOM’s emergency site at the former Qayara airstrip hosts over 52,000 displaced Iraqis or 8,746 families. The scorching heat is already having an impact on both health and living conditions for individuals living at the site.
From June onwards, temperatures in Iraq’s Ninewa governorate will hit, and on some days, surpass the 50° mark. The PVC tents that provided residents with much warmth during the cold winter months will be hard to tolerate in summer, as temperatures inside register at least 10° higher than outside.
“We are now sleeping outdoors to keep cool,” said Abu Omar, a displaced individual at the site. “It is literally impossible to bear the heat inside the tent.”
With the Qayara site at full capacity, IOM teams are in the process of ensuring that all IDP families are equipped with the basic materials that will help alleviate some of the summer’s discomfort.
Winter kits that have been modified for hotter days are being prepared for distribution to an estimated 7,790 families, in both Qayara and the neighboring Haj Ali camp.