Kenyan officials refuse to open fourth refugee camp for displaced neighbors
Jul 28, 2011
As refugees from Somalia and Kenya continue to pile into existing camps, one camp lies empty as the Kenyan government refuses to open it, despite a recent announcement that they would, IRIN reports.
The fourth camp, Ifo II, which could hold 80,000 people, would drastically relieve the congestion at the current three camps. However, the government won't allow it to open, citing security reasons, the source states. The overflow of refugees are now being moved to an extended area outside of one of the camps where those suffering have a clear view of the unused sanctuary.
The makeshift living areas outside of the camps are housing over 2,000 refugees. The displaced are subject to dry, dusty conditions with sweeping winds continually blowing the sand at them, as the outskirts lack proper housing and sanitation, IRIN reports.
The sanitation issue is worsened because there are no latrines in these makeshift camps. Health organizations view this as a large concern for the spread of disease.
Those displaced are feeling the effect of the cramped living quarters and the lack of food and water.
"I never thought the situation would be worse in Dadaab; we are really desperate, we do not understand why we are not being taken to the new camp," Hassan Ali Yarow, 50, told the news source. "No one bothers to tell us what is actually taking place. We feel abandoned but hope that one day life will be better in Somalia."
As UNHCR continues to urge the Kenyan government to open the facility, humanitarians continue to bring more supplies to those in need daily.