Lesbos, Greece – Days after a fire reduced Europe’s largest refugee camp to embers, flames continue to break out around the charred remains of Moria.
Fire engines race back and forth over the Greek hillsides to extinguish the new fires, weaving between families languishing on the surrounding roads and olive groves.
The air smells of burnt plastic and smoke. The sounds of individuals yelling and youngsters crying come from all sides.
Thousands of individuals remain trapped between the smouldering camp they can’t return to, and features of police who don’t permit them to enter the nearby city of Mytilene.
On these roads round the camp, confusion prevails. People wonder why the hearth started, how long they’re going to need to remain on the streets and what is going to happen next.
“We are here and that we do not know anything,” Ahmad Sadiya, 29, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan told Al Jazeera. “We just need to wait here for a few people to assist us.”
Sadiya was sleeping during a container together with his wife and three young children when the hearth broke call at the first hours of Wednesday.
They heard people shouting a few fire, but initially , once they tried to escape , they were stopped by police throwing tear gas. because the flames grew they were ready to run the streets.
The Greek government maintains that the hearth was started by asylum seekers as a response to continuing coronavirus lockdowns and tests.
Moria camp had been under an extended lockdown since March. Last week, it had been put in a good stricter lockdown after 35 residents tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement on Wednesday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: “I recognise the difficult conditions. However, nothing can become an alibi for violent reactions to health checks. And, much more, for riots of this magnitude.”
Pamela Kanda, 28, an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, cannot comprehend why she is stuck on the road between the camp and therefore the city, and why she isn’t permitted to go away to urge food or nappies for her two-year-old child.
“They don’t need anybody to pass,” she said. “They don’t tell us anything.”
Her phone has run out of battery, she has nowhere to charge it, then she has no source of data from the surface world. She doesn’t know what is going to happen next.
Nearby within the same olive grove, 16-year-old Tamadur Al Bario’s family also lacks access to food and water. She picks up a baby cousin to point out bug bites on the nape of her neck, and a thick white scar from a bomb in Syria. they’re running out of formula.
“Where are the organisations to help? No food, nothing? Why?” she asks. “Nobody came to assist . we’ll die, we’ll stay within the road, for them it’s no problem.”
Amid the warmth and hunger, concerns about the coronavirus loom large. Of the 35 Moria camp residents who were diagnosed with the illness, only eight are located and quarantined. Here, people are unable to socially distance, and haven’t any access to running water or sanitary products.
So far, few viable solutions are proposed for the 13,000 residents of the previous Moria.
Notis Mitarakis, the migration minister, said that some 3,500 asylum seekers are going to be accommodated during a commercial ship and two naval barges, and therefore the rest are going to be given tents in several areas on the island.
On Friday morning, tents and other relief items were being delivered to a field next to the previous Moria camp. However, It remains unclear when people are going to be ready to access this aid.
In the long-term, Mitarakis has remained firm that the govt will proceed with the planned construction of a closed bullpen on the island – a move residents and aid organisations have protested against for months.
“We really starkly condemn any move to the present quite closed setting,” Christina Psarra, the overall director of Doctors borderless (known by its French initials MSF) in Greece, told Al Jazeera.
“We reached now due to this approach of closing the camp. they can’t build from the ashes, an equivalent thing that caused such a lot pain.”
Many refugees in Lesbos had never heard of the decide to build a closed camp. “I do not know what the govt will decide,” said Mohammad Zaher, 42, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan.”Will they create Moria again or no? Where will we be?” Zaher has been without food and water for quite two days.
But for now, the concerns about his future concern him quite hunger: “Food isn’t important for us, the longer term is vital for us,” he said, gesturing to his son beside him. “The children’s future is vital for us.”