A spell of dry weather has allowed airdrops of emergency supplies for thousands of refugees in Kenya. A US Air Force C-130 Monday airdropped mosquito nets, plastic sheeting, medicine and other supplies. The airdrops are expected to continue until the end of December, which is usually the end of the short rainy season.
Recently, heavy rains and floods struck the Dadaab refugee camp complex – home to many Somalis who have fled the fighting in their country.
Nemia Temporal is the head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) office in Dadaab. She told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua that several days of dry weather may be over. “As we speak, the weather now is again gloomy, and we just have finished a bit of showers a couple of hours ago,” she says.
Three refugee camps comprise the Dadaab complex. The Ifo camp was the hardest hit by floods, causing UNHCR to set up another area for refugees called Ifo Two. Temporal says, “It should not be referred to as a second camp, but rather this is kind of a relocation site within the same camp. This is located on higher ground…we’re planning to provide services, including a hospital that was relocated to this new site, the police posts, schools and some kind of extension or a satellite (center) for food distribution.”
The UNHCR official says the camps are still low on fuel, with perhaps only a two-day supply. “We’re trying to see how we can bring in the fuel because the aircraft is not really to airlift fuel. We have sent two trucks just to test out the roads yesterday. They were able to reach Garissa, and hopefully, which is like hoping against hope, they’re able to successfully manage to come back. They were bringing some tons of fuel.”
She also says that the refugee camps are running short of firewood.