Glimmers of civilization as Calais migrants brace for winter

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NTP: Migrants prepare for winter, fight for life in Calais
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Glimmers of civilization as Calais migrants brace for winter
In this Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 photo, Iraqi Harim Najmadin, left, his wife Kurde and their 18 month old son Rat sit inside their selfmade shelter at the migrant camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 photo customers stand in front of a makeshift Afghan shop inside the migrants camp in Calais, northern France. Dozens of wooden-framed shops and restaurants, mostly Afghan, stock shelves with supplies bought at Calais supermarkets. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 file photo, a woman stands at the entrance of a makeshift church of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church at the migrant camp near Calais, northern France. Godâs house has many mansions in the migrant camp at Calais, whose residents brighten their often bleak existence by attending religious services organized in tents and shacks. In so doing, they have set aside ethno-religious enmities that often fuel bloodshed in their homelands. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 file photo, a migrant walks behind a destroyed tent at migrant camp near Calais, northern France. Networks of newly constructed 15-foot-high (5-meter-high) razor-topped fences and boosted police patrols defeat many migrants hoping to cross the English Channel. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 photo, hundreds of tents stand between bushes in Franceâs biggest refugee camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Friday, Nov. 7, 2015 photo, migrants reach out for blankets and sleeping bags delivered by the aid organization LâAuberge des Migrants at the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Many of the estimated 6,000 residents spend hours queuing for six-minute showers and one daily meal at a government-funded facility on the campâs Atlantic-facing edge. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 photo migrants help a Doctors Without Borders collection crew to take way garbage at the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Residents of Franceâs biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 photo a makeshift cooking space is placed inside the shelter of a Sudanese refugee inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Many of the estimated 6,000 residents spend hours queuing for six-minute showers and one daily meal at a government-funded facility on the campâs Atlantic-facing edge. Elsewhere, campers stand in mud to collect cold water from batteries of hose-fed taps and burn tree branches to cook and boil water, turning the air acrid with smoke. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 photo, a man walks beside a decomposing poster reading 'The jungle is not for us, the jungle is for animals' fixed by a Sudanese refugee at a tent, inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 photo, a four-year-old Eritrean girl looks from out of a shelter at the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Residents of Franceâs biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 photo, Migrants burn garbage near their tents at the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Residents of Franceâs biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 photo, migrants gather at the city sign of Calais near the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 photo migrant make their way through mud to enter public toilets inside, the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 photo, a migrants stand near public toilets behind a pile of garbage inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Many of the estimated 6,000 residents spend hours queuing for six-minute showers and one daily meal at a government-funded facility on the campâs Atlantic-facing edge. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 photo, a migrant boy walks between tents inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 photo, a migrant makes a fire for making tea inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Many of the estimated 6,000 residents spend hours queuing for six-minute showers and one daily meal at a government-funded facility on the campâs Atlantic-facing edge. Elsewhere, campers stand in mud to collect cold water from batteries of hose-fed taps and burn tree branches to cook and boil water, turning the air acrid with smoke. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 photo, human excrement litters both sides of a pathway through the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Most of the approximately 50 portable toilets are unspeakably foul. A French court this month ordered Calais to double the toilets and taps and take command of garbage collection. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, file photo, tents and waste are reflected in a puddle inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Residents of Franceâs biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 file photo migrants stand at a fence preventing them from reaching a highway beside the migrant camp near Calais, northern France. Residents of Franceâs biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 photo, a migrant woman walks through the bushes between tents inside the migrants camp near Calais, northern France. Many of the estimated 6,000 residents spend hours queuing for six-minute showers and one daily meal at a government-funded facility on the campâs Atlantic-facing edge. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 file photo a written message is fixed to a tent inside the migrant camp near Calais, northern France. Residents of Franceâs biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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CALAIS, France (AP) — Residents of France's biggest refugee camp near the English Channel port of Calais must combat hunger, filth and illness in a tent village as they scramble to build hard roofs for the winter.

Many of the estimated 6,000 residents spend hours queuing for six-minute showers and one daily meal at a government-funded facility on the camp's Atlantic-facing edge. Elsewhere, campers stand in mud to collect cold water from batteries of hose-fed taps and burn tree branches to cook and boil water, turning the air acrid with smoke.

SEE ALSO: EU predicts 3 million more migrants by end 2016

Dozens of wooden-framed shops and restaurants, mostly Afghan, stock shelves with supplies bought at Calais supermarkets. Aromas of cardamom and aniseed, cumin and ginger waft from the tarpaulin-covered shacks advertising fire-blackened chicken. Diesel generators and gas canisters keep lights burning and curries sizzling.

More are built daily as aid workers and migrants work together, hammers and saws in hand, constructing hard roofs with tarps and insulation over tents.

Shops offer power top-ups from extension cords overloaded with smartphones. Some campers use stationary bikes to charge phones, taking turns pedaling for two hours or more per device. A new WiFi signal boosts campers' connections.

Piles of garbage are omnipresent despite valiant efforts of Doctors Without Borders collection crews. Most of the approximately 50 portable toilets are unspeakably foul. A French court this month ordered Calais to double the toilets and taps and take command of garbage collection, but little has changed.

A visit inside a small tent shared by three Eritrean women reveals how dignity and hospitality survive. Their side-by-side beds, topped by perfectly folded duvets, are firm and comfy. Devotion to hygiene ensures not a fleck of mud invades their home. Coffee, presented after 10 minutes hunched over a fire, comes in white china alongside homemade dabo bread on an ankle-high candlelit table.

They have lived here together since spring and must find space in the new year for another soul. One of them, Mimi, expects a January baby.

Related: Migrants dealing with cold weather in Germany and Serbia:

15 PHOTOS
Migrants dealing with cold weather
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Glimmers of civilization as Calais migrants brace for winter
A child walks past a checkpoint on the Serbian side of the border toward Croatia near the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
Migrants coming from the warm south step out of the bus into the cold mud to cross the Serbian-Croatian border, at the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
Migrants waiting with their shoes wrapped in UNHCR plastic bags to cross the muddy road at the Serbian-Croatian border, near the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
Migrants wrapped in blankets wait to board busses that will take them to Hungary from the admission center in Opatovac, Croatia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A woman carries her child over the Serbian-Croatian border in the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A child hides behind her mother as they wait in line to cross the Serbian-Croatian border, near the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A family crosses the Serbian-Croatian border in the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A tired migrant child cries in its fathers arms as they cross the Serbian-Croatian border, at the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A migrant child smiles as she follows her mother down the path that leads to the Serbian-Croatian border crossing, at the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A young migrant is cover in a blanket as temperatures dropped under the freezing point when migrants wait for registration and allocation of a sleeping place on the premises of the State Office of Health and Welfare (LaGeSo) in Berlin, Germany, Monday morning, Oct. 12, 2015. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)
Migrants try to keep warm during temperatures around the freezing point as they wait for registration and allocation of a sleeping place on the premises of the State Office of Health and Welfare (LaGeSo) in Berlin, Germany, Monday morning, Oct. 12, 2015. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)
Migrants wrapped in blankets wait to board busses that will take them to Hungary from the admission center in Opatovac, Croatia, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A couple smile and keeps each other warm as they wait to cross the Serbian-Croatian border in the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A child eats an apple waiting in line to cross the Serbian-Croatian border, at the village of Berkasovo, near Sid, Serbia, on Thursday, Oct.15, 2015. The migrants and refugees are struggling with the autumn rain and the cold as EU leaders are discussing in Brussels how to deal with the crisis. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
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