Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Rivarly between refugees in Daadab and local host community
The increasing number of starving Somali refugee entering Kenya has been overwhelming, In a country already faced its own starvation, the influx of new arrivals is making the situation worse.
Daadab refugee camp now worlds biggest camp is full leading humanitarian emergency that now threatens thousands of lives. The camp which was meant for 90,000 people, it's current population is expected to be more than four times its capacity.
A sprawling desert in North Eastern Kenya, Daadab, comprises of three camps, Ifo, Dagahaley and Hagadera camps. Hundreds of new arrivals trek for weeks in the hope that the 'desert camp' will be better than home.
“we come here because there is nothing left at home, there is the fighting and help doesn't get to where we live so we came here” says a mother of three who arrived a few days ago.
On arrival, the new arrivals would queue for long hours in the heat where they await to be given enough supplies to create a make make shift home, cooking utensils, a mat they can sleep on and most importantly ration card where they would be able to get food.
However the huge arrivals doesn't seem to go well with the host community in Northern Kenya as they too fill the pinch of overcrowding by the refugees, as a county they do not have much going on and the situation is made worse.
North Eastern Kenya, home to the camp and mainly Somali residents, has been neglected for a long time by the central government and the residents have had to depend on humanitarian agencies.
Since independent the county has not seen any developments from the government.
The region that has largely remained deserted by the central government since independence, lack of infrastructure among other problems have made the situation worse.
There have been constant rivalries between the residents in North Eastern Kenya and the refugees from the camp.
The residents have complained that the government of Kenya has considered them as refugees, for this reason they have been forgotten and the humanitarian organisations just cater for the refugees needs.
To reduce the constant chaos between the two groups, the humanitarian organisations also started different water projects for the community. Although different humanitarian organisations have raised a red flag and launched international appeal campaign to help raise funds to assist drought hit population, much more still needs to be done.
Failure of the government to plan and focus on long term projects has made the situation unbearable for the residents from the upper North Eastern region, and now it’s worsened by the huge number of refugees streaming in to the country.