In response to the acute food crisis that is now affecting the north of Kenya and its neighbouring countries in the Horn of Africa, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) is dispatching a team to the affected region of Dadaab, north-east Kenya.
More than 10 million people are directly threatened by the famine prominent in three countries in the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, which have been hit by the worst period of drought for 60 years. Every day, thousands are pouring into the humanitarian camps in Dadaab (Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo), which today shelter close to 400,000 refugees; more than four times the predicted initial capacity.
TSF immediately coordinated with cooperation organizations for development, notably the NGO Veterinarians Without Borders Belgium (VSF), in Nairobi, for the preparation of their operations before their arrival. VSF is an international NGO that supports local farming cooperative projects worldwide, and the impact of its work with livestock breeders and farmers in southern countries is very important.
Thus, in the context of the food crisis, TSF has chosen to work alongside these organisations, to reinforce their programs in the field of new technologies to aid the affected populations. As soon as the TSF team touches down, they will set up a crisis centre in the Garissa region, several kilometres from the Dadaab camps, to the benefit of the international NGOs. TSF will establish a technical and telecoms infrastructure necessary for effective emergency operations (Internet and telephone connections, computers and peripheral IT materials…). Equally, the TSF team will carry out an assessment of the telecom needs within the new camps in the Dadaab region.
The first collaboration between TSF and VSF was in July 2005, in response to a food crisis that hit Niger and affected more than three million people. TSF, in cooperation with VSF Belgium, opened an emergency telecoms centre and priority telephone lines in Dakoro, southern Niger, to the benefit of all organisations working in the field.
The TSF centres that will be established in north-east Kenya by our expert teams will be open to all humanitarian workers in the area. It will allow them to communicate, and coordinate their operations in the heart of the affected region. TSF will maintain the connections even after the first emergency phase is over, as the resolution of a crisis takes time and requires the establishing of sustainable, long term solutions.
This mission is made possible thanks to the support of TSF's partners: the Vodafone Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, AT&T, PCCW Global, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Vizada, IT Cup, CFE-CGC/UNSA, the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO), the Communauté d'Agglomération de Pau and the Regional Council of Aquitaine.