first days in jamam refugee camp, south sudan: a photo essay

by caitlin meredith

MSF plane that flew us from Juba, landed on Adan air strip

my tent is the third on the right – every morning I expect a bugle boy wake up but none so far

Stefanos, the Nigerian feeding center nurse in the forefront. Prominently displayed compound clothesline in background. Don’t look for my knickers. Haven’t tackled that project yet. 45 people, 2 “shower” cubicles, just to the right of the clotheslines. Make it quick.

the compound dining room. 45 people. 13 plastic chairs. 2 cinder blocks. 1 broken bed. take a seat!

my favorite sign so far. i’m told it had no discernable effect. sidenote: if anyone is missing any flies, I think they’re all here in South Sudan.

three weeks ago this was dry, covered with tents. the rainy season flooded half of the camp so the UN is relocating the affected refugees to another camp a couple hours’ drive down the road. you can see the white tents on the periphery of the swamps in the back ground. also you’ll notice that there are still a few trees left. in a few weeks they’ll all be cut down for fire wood and construction.

an old mama making charcoal to sell in front of her tent. after this she started singing and dancing for the camera. she’s a lot sparkier and feistier than she appears in this kind of stiff photo.

women and girls go fetch the water from the various water points around the camp and carry it back to their tents with these contraptions. i can barely lift one of those jerry cans.