Saturday, March 28, 2009


Aljazeera was reporting about the dire problem in Dadaab just as

تحذير من أزمة إنسانية بمخيم اللاجئين الصوماليين في كينيا

حذرت منظمة أوكسفام الخيرية الدولية اليوم الجمعة من أزمة إنسانية تواجه مئات الآلاف من اللاجئين الصوماليين في كينيا مع بدء انتشار الأمراض في مخيماتهم المكتظة.

as Oxfam International said there is an urgent need to establish a new site to cater for the influx of refugees from neighbouring Somalia, warning of an imminent humanitarian crisis if this is not done immediately. OK. That heard, still questions are being asked about the viability of extending the refugee camps which inturn has it's own side effects to the Kenyan Government and to the communities living with them.

North Eastern Member of Parliament for Lagdera, The deputy speaker of the Kenya Parliament, on whose constituency Dadaab Refugee Camp is located, which suffers much due to environmental challenges, insecurity and clashes time to time due to the refugee crisis has one time previously complained about the allocation of more space for the refugees, albeit, considering the side effect of hosting close to quarter a million needy people.

The Question to Governments of Kenya and Somalia, Oxfam and other Humanitarian aid agencies is: How can we help to stabilize the situation, help the Somalia Government, now headed by a more freindly President Sheikh Sharif, send the refugees back, support the two government(Kenya+Somalia) cope with the situations instead of creating more camps for them, hosting them, thus creating havoc and instability around the Kenya border and so on..It is not what size of land do these people want but how can we help solve their problem. We are not solving their problems by creating more land to host them, we should instead create foundations by liaising with Somalia and Kenyan Government and the International Community including the US, EU, UK and Arab League Nations to foster political temperature suitable to encourage them to go back to their country.

It is said that, an assessment carried out by the agency has uncovered a serious public health crisis caused by a lack of basic services, severe overcrowding and a chronic lack of funding.

Although Kenya recently closed its border with Somalia due to the overcrowding situation, refugees continue to arrive daily with estimates being put at 12,000 new arrivals every month. According to the Oxfam report, the border closure is actually exacerbating the crisis.

"These refugees will face a humanitarian emergency this year, unless urgent steps are taken to deal with a serious public health crisis unfolding in the Dadaab refugee camp," the report released said in part.

Dadaab is one of the world’s largest concentration camps of refugees and has a population standing at more than 250,000, almost three times its intended size, a situation that has resulted in refugees living in appalling conditions. It is projected that up to 100,000 more people are likely to arrive by the end of this year as Somalis continue to flee violence and seek refuge in Kenya. Already the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has admitted it is facing a challenge of relocating Somali refugees from Dadaab located near the Kenya/Somalia border, as divisions among the local political leadership derails plans to create a new camp in Garissa to accommodate the influx.

Although the government has conceded that all is not well at the camp, Oxfam said it must go ahead and address the humanitarian crisis, rather than ignoring it.

"An open but managed border will allow Kenya to meet its legitimate security concerns, but also allow refugees to receive the assistance to which they are entitled under international law," said head of Oxfam GB in Kenya Philippa Crosland-Taylor.

Commenting on the unfolding crisis, the official said the Kenyan Government, international donors and aid agencies must all immediately take action to address the situation. The Oxfam boss said the conditions in Dadaab are dire and need immediate attention.

"People are not getting the aid they are entitled to. Half of the people in the camp do not have access to enough water. Women and children – who make up over half Dadaab’s population – very rarely have access to adequate latrines," the official said.

A part from calling for allocation of land for a new camp site, Oxfam's report recommends that the Government should re-open the Kenya-Somalia border, and -- International donor governments must urgently respond to UNHCR's appeals for more funding to deal with the crisis. It urges the UN and aid agencies to ensure that recent increased efforts to address the crisis are sustained, and that local Kenyan communities near Dadaab are not neglected.