Floods continue to inundate three refugee camps with some 123,000 people in Ifo, Dagahely, and Hagadera in northeastern
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), mud-walled refugee homes are crumbling in the Ifo camp where some 20,000 refugees are in need of new shelters. In Dagahaley camp, home to some 40,000 refugees, more than 5,000 of them have been similarly flooded out.
The flow of water in and around the camps
is so strong that donkey carts, the main form of transportation for the
cannot operate. The UN refugee agency says that the water has risen again to 1.5 metres in some areas forcing the refugees to leave to other locations.
UNHCR Spokeswoman Pam O'Toole said that
the sanitation situation was worrying with more than 2,600 latrines flooded
the Ifo and Dagahaley camps. The refugees' domestic animals and poultry have died, increasing the risk of illnesses afflicting the refugees, particularly the children who swim in the waters flowing through the region.
Access to the camps, 100 kilometres from
the Somali border is difficult as all roads have been cut and food supplies
expected to run out at the end of December.
The refugees have been issued 20,000 burlap sacks to stave off the waters from settlement areas, water pumps, hospitals and food warehouses. Canals are also being dug in and around the camps to divert the water. UNHCR, which began flying fuel into Dadaab last week, has delivered 17 metric tonnes to the camps to keep the fresh water pumps working. The agency is also purchasing 40 metric tonnes of high protein biscuits and sending in 5,000 plastic sheets from stocks in Nairobi for urgent distribution in the camps.