Kenya Briefing Notes 2 Dec 1997

News and Press Release
Originally published
UNHCR is moving 5,000 refugees whose shelters have been destroyed by the floods in the Somali camps of Ifo and Dagahaley to higher ground. Rains have continued near the Dadaab area of north-eastern Kenya and water is still a meter deep over much of the camp surface. The sites have now been cut off from assistance by road for two weeks.

On Saturday UNHCR flew 7 tons of much-needed diesel fuel into Dadaab for pumps providing the only drinkable water available to the 122,000 mainly Somali refugees and 7,000 Kenyans in the area. A second flight will go in on Thursday with another 7 tons and two more airlifts are scheduled for the next weeks.

Workers in the camps are sandbagging aid agencies' warehouses and helping families threatened by the high waters to find areas and shelters away from the parts of the three sites which are at risk. Families in dry areas are being asked to take in people who've had their shelters washed away. The disruption to camps life means refugees are having to walk considerable distances to receive their rations, sloshing through standing water with their loads.

There have been no serious health problems reported so far, but workers remain vigilant due to the standing water and collapsed latrines.

The standing water on the main road to the camps from Garissa, to the south-west, means that agencies have not been able to begin any repairs.