UN envoy witnesses squalid conditions

HATCLIFFE - The squalid camps where the government is housing thousands of victims of Operation Murambatsvina have finally been witnessed by a top United Nations official, and by all accounts, it was a horrific picture. On Monday, UN envoy Jan Egeland visited Hatcliffe informal settlement just outsi

de Harare, and walked through mud to get to the families who were forced there by the government after it destroyed their homes. Egeland, the coordinator of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief, is reported to have kept reporters at bay in order to talk to these suffering people alone. Residents told him the shacks were often water-logged due to heavy rains. After his visit, he told reporters: …the needs are tremendous and the people are living under very bad conditions. Soldiers have been blocking reporters, NGOs and religious organisations from entering the site, and according to Reuters, the people there were so happy several women sang when Egeland arrived. He is the first official not from the ruling party allowed in since the settlement was established in May. An estimated 8,000 people are living at Hatcliffe, and the adults have no formal employment.  SW Radio Africa

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