'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

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....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.