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Turkana Governor Nanok wants Kakuma refugee camp expanded

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Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok has said Kakuma refugee camp is filled to capacity and more land is needed for its expansion.

Mr Nanok said a crisis meeting will be held as soon as possible to address the challenge.

The meeting, dubbed Donor Ground Table Meeting in Turkana for Turkana, will involve leaders and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees officials.

He urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to increase number of staff attending to the refugees due to an influx after violence erupted in South Sudan.

Mr Nanok made the remarks in Lodwar during the swearing in ceremony of county chief officers who include Joseph Namwar (Finance and Planning), Emmanuel Ekeno (Infrastructure, roads, transport, public works and housing), Mark Ewoi (Lands, Physical Planning and urban areas management) and Paul Ekutan (Water, Irrigation and Agriculture).

At the same time, Turkana West Sub County police boss Mr David Nyabuto said they have intensified patrols at the camp to counter crime.

“Rape and robbery are the most common crimes at the camp. We have therefore established about seven patrol centers relying on services of police both on vehicles and on foot.” said Mr Nyabuto.

According to the police boss, the camp has 164, 000 refugees including 36, 000 refugees from South Sudan.

On average, he said, 200 new arrivals are being recorded at Nadapal border point of Kenya and South Sudan where they are screened and transported to Kakuma.

The refugees are fleeing from South Sudan following fighting between government troops under President Salva Kiir and rebels led by former Vice President Riek Machar.