Office of the President
Release: January 13, 301 AP.

Briefing documents for the Chiquiti Crisis mission

Mission Director: John Kopeya MP

As you are aware, the Chiquiti region has an influx of welcome refugees of the Chiquiti tribe who have fled their homes in neighbouring South Bay to live in Utania. They are estimated to number 160,000, and are currently living in makeshift settlements along the Utania-South Bay border, and in the city of Chiquiti, split 60:100 thousands.

The refugees have been arriving since April 299, and have not, as yet fully integrated into Utania. They are living in makeshift accommodation which have a lack of basic facilities and infrastructure to support them. This particularly applies to the four border camps and the one camp in the rural region between the four and the city (see map).

The region:
The Chiquiti region resides in the rain shadow of the massive Utani mountain range that sits in the centre of Utania. Chiquiti, unlike Kanhara or Tuama further south-east, sits in the shadow of mountains between 1500m and 3500m, and within 200km of the range. This means that the region gets very little rain compared to the rest of Utania. Annual rainfall averages <100mm annually, and average daily surface temperature is between 15 and 35 degrees across the year. At this time of year, temperatures average 30+ degrees, and rainfall about 10mm for the month. This makes it hot and dry, water scarce, and the landscape mostly grassland.
<Tech> This makes it equivalent to a somewhat hotter version of southern Spain, or northern Morocco; or to Austin, Texas in the USA.</Tech>

Chiquiti is hot and dry and sometimes rocky
Chiquiti is hot and dry and sometimes rocky

The contrast is along the Chiquiti river, on which the city of Chiquiti sits, which collects rainfall from the mountains then moves it rapidly south-west. The water about the city, however, is highly polluted due to poor waste water treatment and the doubling of the population in the city from the ordinary 110,000 to over 200,000. Agriculture is prevalent along the river, but away from the river it is limited to livestock raising.

Note that most of the region is at altitudes between 500 and 1500m. There should be little effect felt from this, but see your mission commander if you are feeling unwell.

The people:
The Chiquiti are one of the nine Utani tribes that make up the Utani people, and are regarded as an integral people to the Utani. They are deeply religious Cruistian, but are also very tolerant of non-Cruistians, therefore we are not anticipating any issues whatsoever with Mounist aid workers. They had, for the past hundred-plus years, become the livestock and wheat farmers for the Guwimithian Tsarist regime, and now, without that market still in place, a depressed market for their goods has deeply affected the land.

The Chiquiti, like most Utanians, are generous to a fault, which is why the refugees have been welcomed to stay within the regional borders. Nothing will change their minds about this. It is Mission policy to allow the acceptance of small gifts from grateful Chiquiti (as it would be pointless to try to reject them), though one should use one's discretion in these matters. (Accepting two-dozen head of cattle will, for example, be severely frowned upon.) Your own national mission commanders will advise you further.

Most agriculture is managed by a tribal community and though personal ownership is not an alien concept, you will find sharing far more prevalent than you are used to. The average community of, say, 500 people, will have an annual income of about Û100,000 (or C33k). Therefore, before respectful of their poverty, and do not engaged in telling anecdotes about wealthy cities paved with mobile phones, and Ordland's executive cars.

The language:
Ingallish is not widely spoken in Chiquiti, with the regional language being Utani. On average, 20% of the population will know Ingallish. The Chiquiti Utanian staff at the missions will be reasonably fluent in Ingallish, but most of the locals will not. Therefore, it is advisable to travel with a local who can translate for you. It would be advisable to obtain a copy of the Lonely Vexillium Utani-Ingallish-Utani speaking dictionary.

------- The Crisis -------

The Crisis is that thousands of these Chiquiti refugees are suffering from what appears to be the effects of dehydration due to a lack of available water, and/or from the effects of polluted water. What makes this worse is the lack of decent medical facilities in the region. One hospital with a staff of 400 in Chiquiti is the only permanent hospital in the region, and is poorly stocked and workers are poorly paid (approx. Û1000 pa.).

It is expected that your time here will be between three and six months duration, though, under the circumstances, ALL applications for longer stays will be accepted and granted. You will be contacted by the Mission Directorate during March, and monthly until June, to establish your wishes.

Map of Chiquiti region, the northern-most part of the state of Utani B'yan.
The green squares represent the refugee settlements/camps to which aid workers will be directed.
Roads to the border camps are not paved, and can be quite dusty and rough.
The stars on the map represent the viable airports at which you, and later supply planes, will be landing.

Crisis One - the border camps:
There is four border settlements, where villages near the border have swollen to now be towns of between ten and twenty thousand refugees. There is inadequate housing, no sanitation or water services, and little water to speak of. The land is bare or grassland, and there is few trees available for fuel. Diseases are worst here, because water is being effectively recycled, and not boiled as much as it should be.

Living conditions amongst Chiquiti refugees
Living conditions for refugees, and residents, is poor.

The mission to the camps will be four-fold: For these objectives, the Ordlandic army hospital, five Ordlandic water purification units, half of the sterilisation tablets from Ordland, Feniz drilling team, and half of the Bowdani Engineering corp team will be sent to the border camps, including the rural settlement between the city and the border. Two Utanian Army medical teams will already be present. Each team will be accompanied by several mostly-Chiquiti workers to provide labour to the drilling teams, and aid to the medical teams in organising the crowds who come for treatment and to act as field hospital orderlies. In both cases, it is expected that some on-the-job training will be provided to these people. They will also outnumber your teams by between four-to-one and eight-to-one.

Crisis Two - the over-crowded city of Chiquiti:
The city of Chiquiti is a commercial and light manufacturing centre for the region, a centrestage for the rail network that carried the cattle for processing in Shecker, Ploche (Utan Krysaror) or Agraam. It provided the base for required light manufacturing: shoes, clothing, metal working for farming, markets for local trading, etc... It has two large "bulges" on the western side of the city that contain almost 100,000 people in shanty-town living conditions, people unable to find much work, and struggling to find sufficient water. Most women in the towns will travel ten kilometres to the river to collect water, then walk back to the "homes".

The bustling city looking east with the Chiquiti River in the foreground
The bustling city looking east with the Chiquiti River in the foreground.

The river water is becoming highly polluted, storm water drains are clogged with human waste and the city is creeping toward the verge of a disease-filled disaster. For this reason the mission is as follows: For the duration of your stay, as already mentioned for the border settlement teams, you will be provided with four-to-eight Chiquiti assistants per aid worker to help with the work, be it acting as orderlies or labouring assistance. To maximise your efficiency, you should not hesitate to rotate people through laundry and meal preparation duties. They will not object to menial tasks if they see they are helping the cause (though it would be ill-advised to leave one person in those roles; rotate these roles as best you can amongst the people provided).

The Engineering effort will receive assistance from thousands of labourers as and when required, who shall be sourced from the large unemployed base of the refugees. Negotiation will be performed with city officials through the Mission Directorate.

Crisis Resources:
In all cases, provisions will be provided by the government of Utania, and a supply-master General will be appointed to each team with a small staff to manage the supply of materials, and to manage the motor pool. Several vehicles will be supplied to each team in approximately a one-vehicle-to-two-aid-workers ratio, including all supply and transport trucks.

Please direct any questions to your mission commander, who will be sub-ordinate to the Mission Deputy-Directors, and report to the Mission Director. Questions and requests should be directed to the Deputy-Directors, of which there shall be four: Rural missions, city mission, Utanian Army mission, and Supply and liaison.

To Andrew, Winfried and João,
(Bowdani, Feniz and Ordland,)

After thinking about how to write about the missions in Chiquiti, I thought about the idea of just writing, on your behalf, stories from the foreign personnel in the missions about their experiences and duties, perhaps as letters home type-thing. However, since I know little about your respective Imagi-national cultures and backgrounds it would be not flawless to do this.

Therefore, I've written this briefing to provide you with some background should you choose to write about the experiences of your people here in Chiquiti. I hope you do: I'd be interested in someone writing about Utania from a non-Utanian perspective with all the comparisons people make to what they know from home, especially when explaining to family back home. Secondly, I'm keen to keep this story alive a little longer rather than just let it go once the teams arrive: it aint never over when they do, it's just the beginning.

It doesn't have to happen tonight ;-) in a couple of weeks is fine. Think about the possible shortages, problems, local skill lackings, etc... as things to write about; not to mention the recent criticism of the President's inviting your people here. :-)

Should you have ANY questions or want to run something past me, just email away! Let me know also if this is of zero interest - I'll try to write something sensible from you people.

But I would be very interested in hearing your perspectives.


PS; As a further heads-up, the Lonely Vexillium Guidebook for Utania is due out in the next few days, so that may be of some assistance.
Lonely Vexillium's Utania guidebook - due for release January 301

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)