'Refugee camps overcrowded'

2009-09-03 14:16

Nairobi - Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are jammed into camps that are "barely fit for humans", with poor sanitation and little access to water and medicine, an international aid agency said Thursday.

British aid agency Oxfam said the camps in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are overcrowded and badly managed.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, which is involved in running the camps with various non-governmental organisations and providing food and shelter, has been "weak and inefficient" in addressing the crisis, said Robbert Van den Berg, Oxfam's spokesperson for the Horn of Africa.

Somalia has been ravaged by violence and anarchy for almost two decades. More than half of the population - some 3.8 million people - need humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.

"Somalis flee one of the world's most brutal conflicts and a desperate drought, only to end up in unimaginable conditions in camps that are barely fit for humans," said Van den Berg said.

Alleviate the problem

A spokesperson for UNHCR in Kenya, Emmanuel Nyabera, acknowledged camps are overcrowded and said officials are trying to alleviate the problem in Kenya, where the biggest camp is located, by moving some refugees to another camp in Kenya called Kakuma.

The Dadaab complex in Kenya - the largest refugee camp in the world - is home to more than 280 000 people in an area meant to hold 90 000. Oxfam said in the Somali town of Afgoye, near the bullet-scarred capital, some 485 000 people are taking shelter on a 15-kilometer strip of land, and Ethiopia's Bokolmayo camp is holding almost 10 000 people.

Various Islamist groups have been fighting the UN-backed government since being chased from power two and a half years ago.

The US government recently increased aid to Somalia by pouring resources into the weak government.

- SAPA

Read more on:    somalia  |  refugees  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R2499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.