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Kenyans worry about more incoming Somali refugees

As displaced Somalis continue to take shelter in Kenya, new problems arise due to a shortage of natural resources and over-crowding. Somalis now outnumber locals in the town of Dadaab and the number is growing, IRIN reports.

Currently in the three camps in Dadaab - Hagadera, Dagahaley and Ifo - there are some 440,000 refugees, 150,000 of whom are Somalis that have arrived in the past three months as droughts continue, according to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

While many of the supplies in the camp come from aid groups, some Kenyans feel that those in the camp have access to more water and food than they do, causing tension between locals and those in the shelters, the news outlet reports.

The natural resources around Dadaab have also been hurt by the over-crowded camps. The areas of land outside of the shelters are bare, while tree harvesting has also been changed, making it harder to produce enough wood for warmth and cooking.

"[Tree harvesting] is permanently altering biodiversity and affecting pastoralists over some 10,000 square kilometres by changing the ecological balance of plant, animal, bird and insect species, noted the impact study," Omar Garane, vice-chairman of the Dadaab District Peace Committee told the news outlet.

"At the moment we manage it all, but we are constantly resolving conflicts over this issue and now with the drought the situation can get worse," Garane added.
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