HASSAN SHAM – At the Hassan Sham camp for displaced Iraqis near Mosul, men can be seen huddled around small but loud generators, waiting for their mobile phones to charge.
Most of the residents here had fled their homes after the Iraqi army launched an operation to drive out Islamic State (ISIS) militants from Mosul.
For many living in the camp, mobile phones serve as their only connection to family members still in Mosul. But with no electricity, keeping their phones charged is a constant challenge.
So residents began buying generators and small solar panels to set up makeshift charging stations, enabling themselves and others to keep their phones - and communications with loved ones - alive.
One man who fled from Sinjar two weeks ago, Bikir Idrees, said he saw this as a simple business opportunity.
"I started this initiative to make it easier for people (to charge their phones), and to make a living. Thank God, people are now able to contact their families and relatives in Mosul and elsewhere," said Idrees.
For some, being able to call their relatives and hear their voices is the only thing that can put their mind at ease.
"We use the phones to remain in touch with our family and relatives in Mosul. As you know there is no electricity here, we have to charge our phones using generators," said Thaker Abutaha.
According to the United Nations, nearly 91,000 people have been registered as displaced after fleeing from the ISIS-held city of Mosul and nearby towns and villages since the beginning of the campaign against the militants. That figure excludes thousands more forced back into Mosul by retreating militants.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said about 70 percent of the newly displaced people in Iraq were living in camps.
Thousands of others have holed themselves up where they can.
The United Nations said the number of people fleeing is expected to rise.