HABBANIYAH: They fled starvation and jihadist tyranny in Fallujah for the safety of displacement camps but thousands of Iraqi families still have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.
"The government told us to leave our homes, so we did. The way they described it, we were going to find heaven," said Ayyub Yusef, a 32-year-old from Fallujah.
"I don’t regret leaving because we would have died there. Here, we are alive, just about, but it’s really just another kind of hell," he said.
Yusef, his wife and two children are among the tens of thousands of Fallujah residents who have fled the government’s operation against the Islamic State (IS) group in the city.
More than 60,000 people have been forced from their homes in the area over the past month and a sudden influx of civilians pouring out of the city centre last week has left the aid community unable to cope.
Yusef’s family was rejected from several camps that were already full and washed up on the shores of Lake Habbaniyah, where yet another camp was being erected.
He had not been given a tent yet and had been left to sleep outside with his family for four nights.
"My parents finally got a tent in another camp, so we will try to reach them to sleep with them tonight," he said.
As the blistering sun set on the lake, once a coveted holiday spot in Iraq, men swarmed round a truck to collect tent poles and tarpaulins.
"We were expecting some kind of accommodation at least but we were given nothing. Now we have to erect our own…