Here is the eight update on the situation in Dadaab.
The bigger picture
The number of food insecure people in Kenya, as reported by UN OCHA, have increased from 2.4 million to 3.7 million and the drought conditions have worsened. There has also been a significant increase in inter-ethnic and/or cross-border livestock raids. Insecurity in e.g. the Turkana area has therefore increased. On a health note, cholera, measles, dysentery and malaria cases have been reported to be on the increase across Kenya. Over half a million children and pregnant/ breastfeeding women are currently affected by acute malnutrition. Global acute malnutrition rates are above 20 per cent in the most arid districts.A serious water shortage is affecting all institutions and communities in Marsabit and Wajir, including the town and the district hospital.
Pastoralists are under severe food stress. Out of the total 3.75 million people estimated to be food insecure, an estimated 1.8 million are in pastoral areas. Some 80 per cent of livestock has migrated either within Kenya or to neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.
The Government of Kenya is hosting a state summit on the Horn of Africa Crisis from 8-9 September to seek sustainable solutions to drought emergencies.
Arrivals in Dadaab
The number of refugees arriving in Dadaab continues to be high, but slightly less than in July. The latest data from UNHCR shows an influx just below 1,200 per day with 65% being below 18 years of age. The total number of refugees (registered and received but not yet registered) is now close to 450,000 in Dadaab. It is not unlikely that there will be more than 500,000 before the end of the year, even if a slowdown in new arrivals is expected. The situation is stretched for everyone, but as more and more plots are ready, refugees begin to settle in the extension of the Ifo camp and in the new camp, Kambi Oos.
7,881 plots have been demarcated by LWF for tent pitching in the Ifo extensions and Kambi Oos, and the work continues. A main activity for all partners in Dadaab now is to re-locate refugees from the outskirts of the old camps into the new sites. This is not always easy, as people have built simple structures they now call “home”, and some have also paid money to the host community for their plots – this is illegal, the host community cannot sell plots and something LWF works hard to prevent.
As people are moved, facilities such as health and sanitation, water tap stands, etcetera are also extended into the new areas.
Protection – SGBV
There have been some cases of attempted rape and/or indecent assault in the new Kambi Oos camp. This has been highlighted especially by the IRC, who is the responsible agency for prevention of SGBV. A reason is that there are many female headed households moving to Kambi Oos.
In our role as the Camp Management Agency, LWF are also assessing people their new plots. Women headed households are e.g. not given plots that can expose them to un-noticed attack and male headed households are always on the periphery of the camp. We are also considering the most vulnerable people – especially the elderly and also female headed to occupy plots near the tap stands for water – to reduce distances. There has also been a Kenyan police post set up within the Kambi Oos camp. The police, however, claim that the central Kenyan Government has not authorized the setting up of the police barracks within the camp and this post is therefore still empty. Negotiations are taking place on this between UNHCR and the central Government. On our part as LWF, we have also (1) requested the CPSTs (the Community Peace and Security Teams) from the older Hagadera camp to do patrol shifts in the new Kambi Oos camp both day and night, and (2) we are in consultations with UNHCR to allow relocation of older refugees (who are trained as CPSTs) from Hagadera to Kambi Oos to help us set up security structure there.
On Friday 19th August an Ethiopian refugee was shot at approximately 11am. He was Ethiopian, aged 62 and he died before he arrived at the hospital. He was shot in the head, chest and below the ribs by an armed person at the bus stop near the main market at Ifo camp. He had been complaining of death threats since 2004 and had been moving around the camps. The shooter was taken into custody and the Kenyan police are investigating. LWF did refer this person to the protection officer in the UN as late as in March 2011. The motive is believed to relate to political activities in Ethiopia before he became a refugee.
Information dissemination to new refugees
In cooperation with Christian Aid LWF has assessed gaps and needs in information dissemination to new refugees. Based on the assessment report, several adjustments will be made in how the information is given, when it is given and how much information that is provided at one time. The draft report is now reviewed and we believe the final report will be ready next week and adjustments in the information dissemination will begin thereafter. One important aspects that comes out clearly in the assessment, is the need for all staffs (all agencies, including the UN) to have the same basic information available and for all staffs (all agencies again, including UN) not to provide any information if they don’t know the correct answer to a question. Rather say nothing than guess or assume.
All LWF staffs are extremely grateful for the support forwarded to them from various supporters, individuals and LWF colleagues from around the world! More staff accommodation is being prepared, and this is a highly motivating and encouraging factor to staffs.
Several staffs in Nairobi and in Dadaab have been on Rest and Recreation (R&R) lately, and are now coming back. The breaks have been very important for many, who have been going for months without a break.
For Dadaab LWF has now received about 75% coverage of the appeal target and all the support given is highly appreciated. The appeal will revised as more refugees arrive and more duties come up – I would at this moment again want to highlight education as an area in which we will need to do much more than originally understood.
For Turkana we have received almost 50% funding, which is also very, very good and the implementation is going on there as well.
It is very encouraging for all of us to receive support from countries such as the Slovak Republic, Taiwan, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, Hong Kong and etcetera. These are not the countries most associated with giving aid and relief funding – but the world is one and people around the world want to help fellow human beings in need.
Thank you so much for all support!