Displaced Iraqis who just fled their homes wait to register at the special forces base as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul - REUTERS
GENEVA – 17 October 2017:The Médecins Sans Frontières organization (MSF) said that people are returning to their homes in Mosul, Iraq after years of violence to find their houses rigged with explosive devices and their cities uninhabitable.
In a report published Tuesday, MSF noted the destruction of buildings and infrastructure means that returning families, particularly in west Mosul, end up living in partially or totally ruined homes, with almost no access to clean water, electricity or medical care.
“What we see in our medical facilities are tell-tale signs of the living conditions outside,” says MSF project coordinator in west Mosul Myriam Berger, which was the scene of a fierce battle between Daesh and Iraqi coalition forces earlier this year.
"Until recently we were still receiving war-related injuries, but as more people begin to return home, we are seeing a stark increase in patients suffering from intestinal infections after drinking dirty water, and food poisoning due to lack of electricity and gas for refrigeration and cooking.", Berger added.
"Children especially are developing skin problems and rashes due to lack of hygiene and after playing in sewage water around burst pipes.", she noted.
With many health facilities destroyed, and roads and bridges damaged and unusable, people’s access to health services is severely limited.
“For many people, the long-anticipated return home is turning sour as they find themselves faced with daunting levels of destruction and seemingly endless misery,” stated Berger.