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Airlifts Bring Aid to Flood Regions of Kenya

In Kenya, floods have severely disrupted life in refugee camps in Dadaab.

Millicent Mutuli of the UN refugee agency – the UNHCR – briefed VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua on emergency airlift operations.

“We have airlifts on the way to Dadaab. Since Friday, we’ve been able to move supplies on three flights, taking in particularly plastic sheeting, which the refugees use to cover their shelter. We’re also taking in essential medicines. In all, we should have five flights into Dadaab by the end of tomorrow (Wednesday),” she says.

Mutuli estimates more than 100,000 people need assistance. “There are people who badly need to reconstruct their shelter. There are people for whom we must replace their household items. Evidently, there is need for more medical supplies,” she says.

Of the three camps in the Dadaab complex, Ifo camp was hardest hit by the floods. Mutuli says, “In the last three days, there has not been any rain. So floodwaters have receded somewhat. This has given us some respite, so we are beginning to prepare an adjacent camp to Ifo, which we’re calling Ifo Two.” Ifo Two is located on higher ground.

The UNHCR says it’s concerned that once the floodwaters stop flowing and pools of water become stagnant that there’ll be an increase in malaria cases.