The emergency phase ends when the refugees have water, food,
and shelter. That is when the consolidation phase starts.
A detailed map of the camp, drawn to a large scale (1:1,000-1:5,000),
can then be used to re-organise the camp and locate the facilities
and infrastructure (wells, latrines, dumps, cemeteries, food
distribution points, storage areas, etc.). Such a map is sometimes
drawn up from enlargements of (1:25,000 to 1:50,000-scale)
aerial photographs or topographic maps. However, as both snapshots
and maps tend to be rare, the detailed maps are primarily
the result of fastidious field surveying work.
This phase also involves keeping track of changes in the population.
If a refugee headcount not yet has been taken (such censuses
are sometimes impossible, for reasons of security or emergency),
the number of ID cards that have been handed out can be used
to estimate the number of people. However, this figure is
often overestimated. Several indirect methods can be used
to check the validity of this estimate (number of under-fives
receiving medical care, water consumption, etc.). Aerial snapshots
are a source of additional estimates. When the estimates diverge
too much, a census becomes indispensable.
When the situation drags on, the
camp becomes permanent. Spatial information then becomes necessary
to monitor the camp, the populations distribution, and
the environment. This is because the camps infrastructure
and facilities will change. New activities, such as market
gardens and farming, spring up, and the populations
distribution inside the camp changes. The detailed map of
the camp should be updated periodically. Keeping track of
the refugee population remains a must.
Tensions between locals and refugees can also arise fairly
quickly, and for many reasons. One reason is the increased
competition for limited renewable resources. Because of the
huge concentrations of people on marginal land, environmental
degradation (deforestation, overgrazing, erosion, etc.) is
often seen close to the camp. The closer one is to the camp,
the worse such degradation is, but huge areas can also be
affected. Unsafe conditions can make it difficult, even impossible,
to work the land. Any technique that allows one to characterise
environmental degradation will lighten the work in the field.
Such monitoring can then be used to keep track of environmental