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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora