Feb 25 2015- Manus Island Hygiene and Health Hazard (RAC, Sydney Media Release)

Refugee Action Coalition (Sydney) MEDIA RELEASE, Wed 25 Feb


A filthy toilet block (three toilets and three showers) in Delta Compound on Manus Island has been demolished.

The disgusting facilities were a health hazard and should have been demolished months ago.

But, little has changed. The demolition means that there are only 12 toilets and showers for 300 people.

The stench is strong as ever. The sewage pipes just run into the sea off Delta Compound anyway, and the sewage washes back in with a high tide. But the pipes are clogged creating a constant unhygienic mess in the compound.

The mosquitoes remain in plague proportions. The queue to use the toilets and showers is often has 25 or 30 people, waiting an hour or longer.

Not surprisingly, many people in the compound have skin rashes and fungal infections that medical services provider, IHMS, seems incapable of properly treating. Everyone worries about rashes and skin problems since the death of Hamid Khazaie in September, last year.

Since the end of the hunger strike in late January, asylum seekers are issued with tiny amounts of washing powder, which is not enough to properly clean their clothes. There are four washing machines (and two driers) for 300 people, so most people have to hand wash to keep their clothes clean.

Nor can the asylum seekers have shampoo.

In 2013, a Amnesty International report found that the conditions on Manus Island and in Delta Compound ‘…violate the Convention against Torture.”

Nothing’s changed.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713