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Monday, November 15, 2010

Kenya urged to relocate Somali refugees

Monday, November 15, 2010
The Kenyan government has been urged to facilitate the relocation of Somali refugees living in overcrowded camps in Daadab. 

According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) an international medical organization,at least 700 Somali families are living in harsh conditions in spontaneous settlements outside the overcrowded refugee camp of Dagahaley in Kenya. 

"Hundreds of families have been living in makeshift shelter in a no man's land over the past four months, waiting to be re-located in a proper camp, with the rainy season, their situation has become even more precarious,"says Joke Van Peteghem,MSF's head of mission in Kenya.
The appeal follows the recent heavy rains that have flooded Dagahaley camp. He noted that the existing camps cannot accommodate the steady flow of Somali refugees who flee their war-torn country.

"We are at a dead-end. While we have distributed plastic sheeting to the new refugee families, it is far from enough, especially now that the rainy season has started," Peteghem said. 

He added, "today they face alarming shortages of food, water, sanitation and adequate shelter while the refugee camp is severely overcrowded and cannot accept them."

The MSF boss took on the government for delaying the relocation of the refugees to the new site which has been identified for the construction of more camps.

"We call on the Kenyan authorities and aid actors to immediately facilitate their relocation to suitable accommodation," said Peteghem. 

Daghaley is one of three refugees camps in Dadaab, Kenya, set up in the early 1990s to house Somali refugees. 

The camps that were originally built to accommodate 90,000 people are today struggling to cope with close to 300,000 refugees.

Source: KBC

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