Drought and armed conflict, 80,000 Somalis will find sanctuary in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya

Date:

Drought and armed conflict, 80,000 Somalis will find sanctuary

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, December 06, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • According to UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov, 24,000 individuals have reportedly arrived at the camp complex since the end of September, part of the more than 80,000 people who have been housed there over the past two years.

  • Despite a recent slowdown in daily arrivals at Dadaab, a dry region of northeast Kenya, he told journalists in Geneva that “sufficient space in the camps… is running short.

  • A spokeswoman for the UNHCR said, “Around 350 cases have been found since the end of October.

  • “The longest and most severe drought will impact more than 36.4 million people in the Horn of Africa in recent memory in the last months of this year, the UN’s OCHA, which coordinates humanitarian aid, has already warned.

  • This number includes 7.8 million people in Somalia and 24.1 million in Ethiopia.

Boris Cheshirkov, a spokesman for the UNHCR, says that 24,000 people have moved into the camp complex since the end of September. This is on top of the more than 80,000 people who have lived there in the past two years.

Despite a recent slowdown in daily arrivals at Dadaab, a dry region of northeast Kenya, he told journalists in Geneva that “sufficient space in the camps… is running short.”

Because of this, many people have had to build makeshift shelters outside the camps, where there is either no clean water or very little or none.

Increasing cholera fears

The cholera outbreak that has harmed host and refugee groups is much more concerning. A spokeswoman for the UNHCR said, “Around 350 cases have been found since the end of October.” “Most of them involve children.”

He said eight of the 28 refugees staying with one family in an area where UNHCR workers had just been had already caught the disease. “More staff members and supplies are required at treatment facilities to help stop the disease’s future spread,”

UN backing

Help has been given to newcomers, like giving them access to more bathrooms and showers outside the camps and clean water to drink.

For the most vulnerable, targeted protection programs have also been implemented. Mr. Cheshirkov said, “Malnourished children are being assessed and admitted to stabilization centers.”

At Dadaab’s Dagahaley, Ifo, and Hagadera camps, “plans are in the works to provide more basic aid, such as dignity kits for women and girls, and increase help.”

The UN agency is helping host communities near Dadaab by bringing in water by truck, fixing boreholes, and making sure water pumps have power. UNHCR has also set up extra treatment facilities to make it easier for newcomers to get health care and to be ready for possible cholera cases.

Somali refugees at Dadaab camp, located in Kenya.

at the Kenyan Dadaab camp for Somali refugees.

Climate crisis

Humanitarian organizations are still apprehensive about the Horn of Africa’s ongoing drought and lack of rain, which Mr. Cheshirkov called “the longest and worst” in decades.

“Approximately 4.5 million Kenyans,” he said, “are also suffering from the consequences of the terrible drought, mostly in the northern and eastern areas of the country.”

The longest and most severe drought will impact more than 36.4 million people in the Horn of Africa in recent memory in the last months of this year, the UN’s OCHA, which coordinates humanitarian aid, has already warned. This number includes 7.8 million people in Somalia and 24.1 million in Ethiopia.

Fading pastoralism

According to OCHA, the rainy season from March to May 2022 was the driest on record in the past 70 years. Large parts of Somalia, southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya were hit by the worst drought in recent memory.

“The terrible droughts of 2010–2011 and 2016–2017 have now been surpassed in length and severity, and the 2020–2022 drought will continue to get worse in the coming months, with catastrophic results,” the report said. It also noted that more than 9.5 million animals, the primary source of food and income for pastoralist families, have already died in the region, including four million in Ethiopia, 2.5 million in Kenya, and more than three million in Somalia.

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