TSF's 3rd year on the borders of Mali

3 years on the borders of Mali

The month of March 2014 saw TSF entering into its third year of presence on the Malian borders.


For an information sheet summarising TSF's operations on the Malian borders, click here.

Since the beginning of the conflict in 2012, security conditions in the Sahel region have led to a massive arrival of refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has identified more than 140,000 Malian refugees in Mali and neighboring countries. Weakened by the conflict, the country’s situation remains difficult and thousands of refugees live in camps on the borders of neighbouring countries. To strengthen the support brought to these vulnerable populations, TSF provides fixed satellite connections to connect refugee camps and improve the vital coordination of camp logistical managers. 

Tabareybarey refugee camp (NIGER)


The Tabareybarey refugee camp, located in Niger on the Malian border is home to almost 10,000 people who have been forced to relocate due to the continuing violence and deteriorating security situations in Mali. In mid-2013, the Nigerien government alongside the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) introduced the Saftey Net programme in the camp with a view to offer a long-term solution for refugees who fled violence in their home country.


In order to contribute to this durable solution, TSF, in collaboration with camp coordinators, ACTED (the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), has set up a fixed antenna satellite connection in the NGO coordination centre within the camp. The centre offers the organisations on the ground an environment from which they are able to carry out their vital work. Thanks to the high-speed satellite connection put in place by TSF, Médecins Sans Frontières, WFP (the United Nations World Food Programme), UNHCR, UNICEF and OXFAM to name but a few, are all provided with a hub where the connection facilitates their actions, making sure they have the indispensable means to be able to carry out the procedures necessary to bring the most effective support to the 2,500 displaced families living in the camp.

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Abala refugee camp (NIGER)


In 2012, TSF installed a Vsat satellite antenna in the coordination offices of ACTED and UNHCR within the Abala camp which is now hosting more than 14,300 refugees. The humanitarian hub offers a secured Wifi connection to the 30 humanitarian workers who come daily to connect: MSF Switzerland, MSF France, CARE International, Islamic Relief, CADEV, HELP, VSF Belgium, ACTED and UNHCR.

The 159 Gb exchanged from the TSF humanitarian hub allow a more efficient daily management of the information and a coordinated response of all the actors in the area.


Sahel region, TSF reinforces its actions against major humanitarian crisis (2)Stories


Camp Manager Assistant/ACTED:


"With the problem encountered on the local network, without TSF it would have been impossible to communicate our reports with the office in Niamey and the partners. Thanks to the action of TSF, the constant communication is ensured, as well as the quality of the coordination."


Head of Communication and Information/ACTED:


"The TSF connection in the Abala camp is an essential support for the development and the implementation of our project, notably in a region where telecommunication is underdeveloped. It is also important for the agencies working in the area! It is indeed the unique means of communication when the GSM network is unavailable."

Mangaize refugee camp (NIGER)

According to the UNHCR, there are more than 7000 refugees living in the Mangaize camp in the southeast of Niger. In 2013, TSF teams installed a fixed VSAT satellite antenna in the ACTED center. This humanitarian hub provides a secure broadband connection via WiFi to dozens of NGO workers and UN agencies that require a daily connection management and a more effective coordination of information.



Gorom-Gorom refugee camp (BURKINA-FASO)

The installation by TSF of the Vsat satellite connection on July 2012 within the offices of Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium (VSF-B) in Gorom-Gorom, north-eastern Burkina Faso, has enabled the NGOs and United Nations agencies working in the area to exchange over 92 Gb of data.


Dozens of NGOs benefit from this connection, including, VSF-B, A2N, UNHCR, Red Cross, Save the Children, HELP, AEC, TASSATH, Afrique Verte and AGED. The DPASSN and the District Direction of Health also regularly use the humanitarian hub.


Before the intervention of TSF, the organisations in the area were forced to cover every week the 57 km separating Gorom-Gorom from Dori, the department’s capital, to find a basic Internet access. Since then, the TSF connection supports the implementation of emergency activities and facilitates the communication between the field and the central services at national and international levels.


In 2012 and 2013, TSF also provided connections in the refugee camps of Banibangou (Niger) and Djibo (Burkina Faso). The humanitarian organizations have used connections to assess and monitor the critical living conditions of the refugees. Telecom services offered by TSF allowed the access to reliable and quality data for rapid decision-making and adequate response to the humanitarian crisis.

In Tillia region (Niger), TSF provided in 2012 a BGAN satellite terminal and a Wifi router to Action Contre la Faim Spain (ACF-E) for its activities against malnutrition and food insecurity. The TSF satellite connection allowed ACF-E to implement, in collaboration with the Hed Tamat NGO, emergency humanitarian help mechanisms, notably for access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities.

In North Dakoro region (Niger), BGAN and Isatphone Pro satellite connections as well as laptops provided by TSF to Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium, allowed mobile teams to maintain communication with their headquarters during long lasting missions in isolated and often dangerous areas.