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Living In Filth For 10 Years - Konik Is The Largest Refugee Camp In Balkans

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Author Topic: Living In Filth For 10 Years - Konik Is The Largest Refugee Camp In Balkans  (Read 251 times)
Bianca
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« on: June 28, 2009, 12:05:38 pm »











                                                     Living in filth for 10 years 

 

                                        Konik is the largest refugee camp in the Balkans





BBC NEWS
SPECIAL REPORT
June 20, 2009

More than 2,000 Roma (Gypsies) who fled Kosovo during the conflict in the 1990s still live in Konik refugee camp near Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.

The sprawling slum of tents and shacks is built near the largest rubbish dump in Montenegro.

The mayor of Podgorica recently said the refugees should go back to where they came from.

Save the Children is working to integrate the Roma, but few stay long in the local school.

As the UN marks World Refugee Day, Save the Children's Phoebe Greenwood meets two men who describe appalling living conditions at the largest refugee camp in the Balkans.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 12:09:04 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 12:14:02 pm »











VESEB BERISA, AGED 37



My family and I have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nowhere to take a proper shower. We have been living like this for 10 years.
 
I work all day every day scouring the rubbish tips for metal to sell and maybe, if I'm lucky, earn 200 euros (170) a month to feed my family. We cope because we have to.

I had a job in Kosovo. I ran my own business buying and selling fruit and vegetables. I would like to do that here in Montenegro but I can't. I don't have any resources. I've no money to get started.

The worst thing about the camp is that it's dirty. The hygiene here is terrible. It causes so many health problems. Everything we have is dirty. Nothing can stay clean here. It causes so many health problems.

A lot of people are sick in the camp for lots of different reasons, most often in their lungs because the air here is so foul. Lots of others have problems with their hearts and blood pressure. But in 10 years of living here, I've only seen the UN help one boy who was sick.

It's too hot here, over 40C in the summer and there isn't enough water. Water comes into the washing area near the toilets but the water pressure is so low, there isn't enough for all of us.

Some of the kids here go to the local school. They were given books there but they have no clothes and most of the time they are hungry, so how are they meant to think about learning?

I would leave now if I could, but where would I go? I would like to have a proper house, if only to know that I have my own home, a roof over my head. I want to leave a house for my children as my father left a house for me.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 12:16:04 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 12:17:46 pm »



Piles of rubbish are strewn
across Konik









I have five children and I'm worried about their future. My heart aches for them. I was sitting here half-an-hour ago, I heard music coming from somewhere and I imagined my family dancing. But I can only imagine that now. I know I won't see it - it's not possible any more.

We are in a critical state. It's too much. No-one helps us anymore. No-one comes to see how we are or how we live.

We want to live as other normal people live do. We are the same as the other refugees, the Bosnians and Croats who came to this country during the war. But the refugees from Bosnia have been given houses, all around this camp. Why do they have different conditions to us? Why do we have to live like this?

We are people too. We are humans. We need help from the UN, from the Albanians and Serbs who put us in this situation. What do they think in America, in the UK? They are also responsible for the conditions we live in. They have done nothing to help us.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 12:19:59 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2009, 12:21:28 pm »



Hamza says most of the refugees
are afraid to go out from the camp









HAMZA PAJEZITAJ, AGED 21
I run a business in the camp, cleaning people's cars and carpets. I started it two years ago. I won a competition at the local Catholic Church with my business plan and they gave me 500 euros to get started.

Sometimes taxi drivers come from the town to get their cars cleaned because I charge three euros and it's five euros in town. I'm pretty affordable.

I was 10 when we left Kosovo. I remember arriving at the camp and thinking it was just too full of people. There were more than 10,000 people here then and it's still crowded now.

The people who live around us here are really aggressive. It's discrimination. I don't have as many problems as most people in the camps because I've met people from town through my business. I'm accepted in a way. But most of the others who live here feel too afraid to go out.

It's not so much the local people who fight with us as the local Roma who have lived here for years. They consider us, refugees, to be a lower status than them.

It's difficult for us to start any kind of life here because we can't earn money. We're not allowed to sell on the streets so most people survive by eating food from garbage cans.

The conditions in the camp are bad. It's dirty everywhere and there aren't enough toilets. The biggest problem people have is to heat enough water to wash themselves and their things.

The air stinks of the piles of rubbish we live in. The garbage depot is just next door. It's the main depot in Montenegro and takes the rubbish for the whole of Podgorica. They burn rubbish there almost every day and the smoke comes over into the camp. People have a lot of lung problems here.

Conditions are getting worse because people's homes are falling apart. They were only ever meant to be temporary and we've been living in these huts and tents for 11 years.

The mayor of Podgorica said he wants us to go back to Kosovo but it's just not possible. Our houses were burned and our lives there were destroyed.

Those who are lucky go abroad, to Europe. Others just have to keep their heads down and survive. I can't go back to Kosovo now. I have nothing there. This is my home now.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 12:25:14 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Harconen
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 01:14:28 pm »

Come on B,

Gipsies are liveing in Konik for a long time, before wars in Balkan, onley small number of them has come to Konik as refugee.They live like that cuz they don't want to work (begging, stealing, that is what they do for liveing).They live like that in every town in the Balkan.They have nomad mentality, and after coming in some town most of them will bild small houses from things they found in the garbage.After some time most of them are gone to other places and others are coming to fill the space they left behind.
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Harconen
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2009, 01:23:06 pm »

This is how they live in Belgrade and it is not a refugee camp, it is way of life for them.



                             
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Bianca
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2009, 02:20:23 pm »







Harconen
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     Re: Living In Filth For 10 Years - Konik Is The Largest Refugee Camp In Balkans
Reply #4 on: Today at 02:14:28 pm Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Come on B,

Gipsies are liveing in Konik for a long time, before wars in Balkan, onley small number of them has come to Konik as refugee.They live like that cuz they don't want to work (begging, stealing, that is what they do for liveing).They live like that in every town in the Balkan.They have nomad mentality, and after coming in some town most of them will bild small houses from things they found in the garbage.After some time most of them are gone to other places and others are coming to fill the space they left behind.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Sorry,

I didn't write the article.

BBC did....
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Harconen
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 03:44:32 pm »

Don't be, it isn't your foult.I was posted my reply's cuz the real situation is not like they said it is.

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