Kenya – 9th Update Situation in Dadaab/Djibouti/Kakuma 12th September 2011

Here is the ninth update on the situation in Dadaab.

 The bigger picture

The situation in Somalia continues to worsen, with more districts declared to be in famine. There are also reports of difficulties with delivering aid in these areas, with aid supplies stolen and chaotic food distributions with several people killed. If and how this will impact on the influx of refugees into Ethiopia and Kenya is yet to be seen.

Two case of cholera have been reported in the refugee camps in Dadaab, and monitoring to identify potential cholera cases has increased.

In Djibouti 170,000 people are now reported to be food insecure, including both host community and refugees. WFP is currently supporting 109,000 persons and is scaling up their food aid to reach more people. Malnutrition cases have also increased in Djibouti and currently over 17,000 children is being treated by UNICEF.

The short rains (October to December) are predicted to be normal or above normal in all parts of Kenya. However, with soils damaged by the drought, lack of agricultural inputs, livestock in poor health and many people being displaced, the harvest is still likely to be below normal and food insecurity will remain. Especially in Somalia, where hundreds of thousands of people have left the agricultural (and food producing) districts to become refugees in neighboring countries or displaced in their own country, food production is foreseen to be low even if the rains are good. A good rainy season is welcome and will improve the food situation, but it will not “fix the problem”.

In Kakuma we have seen a slight increase in the number of Sudanese refugees. The resumed violence in some parts of Sudan (South Kordofan, Abyei, Jonglei, and Unity) have meant a sharp increase in refugees fleeing into Ethiopia. So far this has not been the case for Kenya and Kakuma (which is further away from where the fighting takes place) but we have still seen a slight increase there.

Arrivals in Dadaab

The number of refugees arriving in Dadaab continues to be very high, and it also continues to reduce slightly. So far in September an average daily influx of about 850 people is reported. This would indicate about 25,000 new refugees in September, down from about 40,000 per month in July and August.

More than 38,000 refugees have now been re-located from the outskirts of the old camps to the new sites at Ifo extensions and Kambi Oos.

The backlog in registration (the difference between received and registered refugees) remains at about 40,000 people. The increased capacity in Department for Refugee Affairs (DRA) to register refugees means that the average daily registration now is at par or slightly higher than the daily new arrivals – but it will take several weeks, if not months, to completely clear the backlog.

A few cases of old refugees posing as new arrivals, and a few cases of host community Kenyans trying to register as refugees, have been detected. Verifications are carried out to make sure that people are registered only once, and that only refugees are registered.

All partners take this issue very seriously. But with the enormous pressure there has been – and still is – on the Dadaab camps it is not unlikely that some persons have been received twice and/or that some host community Kenyans have been received.

New sites

8,753 plots have been demarcated by LWF for tent pitching in the Ifo extensions and Kambi Oos. Additional plots have been demarcated for public utilities, and some areas been identified as flood prone where tents will not be pitched. The work in Ifo extension has been halted due to concerns raised by some host community members that parts of the extension is on land previously used as a graveyard. Discussion to solve this is going on between UNHCR and host community representatives.

As we approach the rainy season, more emphasize is now being put on preparations for this. LWF did an assessment already before the current crisis on flood prone areas, the need for proper drainage, need for proper planning when demarcating plots and settling new refugees, planning of latrines etcetera. Based on this report strong emphasize will now be on preparations for the wet season.

Women

In cooperation with Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH), LWF has made an assessment about the needs of women arriving in Dadaab. One of the conclusions in the draft report is on the big need for clothes (and shoes) for women and girls. Many women have, at most, one single set of – often incomplete – clothes. The lack of proper clothes is also identified, by both new and old refugees, as one of the factors that increase the threat of being sexually assaulted. The final report, that will be ready within two weeks, will guide LWF in our further interventions assisting women and girls in particular.

Security

There reports of an increase in banditry on the road between Dadaab and Liboi (Somali border) and on the Moyale – Wajir road as well as reports of an increase in armed incidents in the vicinity of the Dadaab refugee camps. Security concerns have therefore been

Funding

For Dadaab LWF has received a good coverage of the original appeal budget, at the same time the appeal has recently been revised and the budget slightly increased. We highly appreciate all the support – and would like to underline that more is needed, and will be needed for some time to come.

For Turkana we have also received good support that is now implemented to support the affected populations there.

I want to thank all of you so much for all your support!

Lennart Hernander

Representative

LWF/DWS Kenya-Djibouti

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