Distributing food and shelter in flooded Dunkirk
Today in Dunkirk was horrific. The rain had been unremitting all night and the place was flooded.
Just to get to where the refugees were, we had to walk through ankle-deep mud. When we got there, it was shocking. The tents were waterlogged and the ground was sodden. The belongings of the people there were in the same condition. I spoke to four men from Syria, Iraq and Iran whose coats were heavy with rain, and their trousers were soaked. I felt terrible. How long could you sit in those wet clothes without freezing?
They were huddled around a small fire, which gave out a surprising amount of warmth in the rain. But all I could think was, how on earth would they get those clothes dry, and how long would they be sitting in them, freezing?
I didn’t want to ask about their background or their journeys. I have a fair idea of the hell they’ve been through to get here. But how can anybody be living like this in Europe, in this day and age? How can anybody be sleeping in these tents, freezing cold and so full of water?
Conditions were so bad that we decided to return to the warehouse to get more tents, tarps and blankets. We couldn’t leave people sleeping like this. They need better shelters – really, we need to replace everything they’re wearing. Their clothes are completely destroyed by the time spent in such harsh conditions.
They need new boots. You could see that their shoes were totally waterlogged. We can buy a pair of waterproof walking boots for just £20. If you can, please donate now – go to Care4Calais.org/donate