Report from Dobova

Report from Dobova

On Thursday, November 26, we were in Dobova – Reception centre Livarna.

The centre was completely empty upon our arrival. One train arrived in the morning, but the refugees were already transported. It was unknown whether the new trains were expected. There was an announcement regarding the visit of the UNHCR delegation in the evening, so the centre was being cleaned to prepare for the visit.

Around 5 pm it was announced that the train is expected at 8 pm. There were 950 people on the train. Initially, they were supposed to continue around 3 am. There was another train expected at 6 am.

Key observations

  • Separation of families:

Refugees from the last three wagons of the train which arrived around 8 pm were registered in Livarna and the rest were registered at the railway station which once again led to separation of families. Otherwise, they also eventually took those who were registered at the railway station to Livarna, but given that the information whether everyone will come to Livarna was changing every 5 minutes, there was a lot of confusion – for a while, they were saying that they will, then that nobody else from the railway station will come. This confusion made the decision about handling the separated families considerably more difficult. Nonetheless, we eventually managed to reunite all the families and the collaboration with the police in general was good. The police brought an unregistered family to Livarna to reunite with the father who was allowed to wait for them so they could all go to register together. Two families were registered separately, but they all waited for each other on their side of the fence until the registration was done. There were different tents for those registered in Livarna and those registered at the railway station as they were going to transfer people from one tent to Šentilj by train and from the other by buses – police decided where they will place reunited families depending on number of people in each tent. Although they were all in Livarna, after the registration police did not allow for separated families to relocate from one tent to another, as they had exact numbers for each mean of transport. In this case the reuniting would be possible only for child-parent relations.

  • Desire to return to Greece:

A boy who had already reached Austria approached us regarding his family who remained in Greece (allegedly with his brother who was in hospital). He made the arrangement in Austria to go back and he bought a ticket to Belgrade, but Croatian authorities returned him to Slovenia with other refugees, as he has no basis to enter Croatia. The boy was completely desparate, but we could only advise him to go to Austria to contact his family again and to wait for them there.

  • Food:

One group registered at the railway station did not get any food there nor in Livarna. We made the arrangement with the police to tell Slovene Philanthropy volunteers to distribute food in front of the tent.

  • Water:

Only refugees accommodated in left and back right tent have the access to running water (tubular basin with several water taps). There is no access to running water in front right tent. Access to hot water should be provided – at low temperatures, as they were that evening, ice cold water makes things even worse.

  • Heating:

All tents are now heated, but at low temperatures, as were esterday, there is not much use since the doors are open. In addition, we noticed holes in the walls of the tent through which the wind blows quite strongly (especially on windy night as such). It seems that the refugees contribute the heating the most with their own bodies.

The ambulance took an 8 months pregnant woman to the hospital and her condition was likely caused by cold – she was shaking uncontrollably and her face was completely blue. Few hours before the incident we talked to the woman and she was feeling good and said she does not need medical attention.

  • Clothing:

There is still a lack of footwear, especially for adults, in bigger sizes. At first sight, there is enough clothes, but when you are looking for a certain item, it turns out that there is a lack of many necessary items, especially pants. There is a lot of inappropriate clothing (summer clothes, dress pants, tight miniskirts, etc.).