News / Africa

New Somali Refugee Camp Set to Open in Kenya

A child stands in front of her home at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, Thursday, Aug 4, 2011.
A child stands in front of her home at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, Thursday, Aug 4, 2011.
Joe DeCapua

With more than 400,000 Somalis now in Dadaab, Kenya, the opening of a new refugee camp there is welcome news. Somalis begin moving to the Kambioos site Saturday.

As drought and famine get worse in Somalia, the refugee population in Kenya is growing by the day. The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, says, in effect, Dadaab has become Kenya’s third largest city.

“The situation here in Dadaab was already critical at the beginning of this year. This was already the largest refugee camp in the world. And since then, some 120,000 new refugees have fled Somalia and come looking for protection and safety and aid here,” said William Spindler is UNHCR’s spokesperson at the camps.

Woefully overcrowded

“People cannot physically settle inside the camps anymore and they’re settling outside at the edge of the camps in land that is totally unsuitable for them to settle in. Areas that are liable to flooding in the rainy season. Areas where it’s very difficult to provide services and safety for them, particularly women. There have been some instances of sexual violence against them,” he said.

The Kambioos camp will eventually provide shelter for 90,000 people.

“We are building some very, very basic infrastructures so that refugee families can move in. We are pitching tents. And the camp is about four or five kilometers from the Hagadera camp, one of the three camps that make up this complex. The land has been cleared and latrines are being built,” said Spindler.

Kambioos is built on scrubland that’s been parched by the drought in the Horn of Africa. Many of the livestock of the local Kenyan population have died.

“So there is a lot of competition for the few available resources in terms of grazing land and water. And this makes it difficult for us to find areas where people can settle in,” he said.

Meanwhile, the relocation of refugees to the new Ifo Extension camp continues. Since July 25th, about 15,000 refugees have been moved there. As with Kambioos, Ifo Extension will eventually hold 90,000 people.

“In total,” he said, “we hope to move some 180,000 people by the end of November. And for that we desperately need money to buy 45,000 tents. We don’t have enough tents at the moment to accommodate all these people. But also, everybody who arrives in Dadaab is receiving food and basic humanitarian assistance. But we need to keep that vital lifeline open. And we need to replenish our stocks.”

UNHCR says about 1500 Somali refugees arrive at Dadaab every day. Many are suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration. They’re also are tired and frightened. In a few months, the population at Dadaab could swell to a half million.

Meanwhile, in southeastern Ethiopia, at Dollo Ado, measles immunization has begun for about 18,000 Somali children. In all, there are about 120,000 refugees there, with up to 300 new arrivals each day.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs