MSF warns Kenya on stricken camp

2012-12-29 07:29

London - Conditions in a camp for Somali refugees in Kenya are deplorable and a government plan to send in thousands more would pose a major risk to health, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Friday.

Kenya has more than half a million refugees from Somalia, which has lacked an effective central government since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

A series of bombings, shootings and hand-grenade attacks blamed on Somali militants prompted the government on 18 December to stop registering asylum seekers and refugees in urban areas.

A Kenyan official said more than 100 000 refugees must now head to the remote Dadaab camp in the country's remote north. Amnesty International said the order breached international law.

Dadaab camp was set up 20 years ago and already houses four times the population it was built for. Hunger and disease outbreaks are common.

MSF says its inhabitants suffer from overcrowding and poor sanitation that recent floods had worsened.

"The assistance provided here in Dadaab is already completely overstretched and is not meeting the current needs," said Elena Velilla, MSF's head of mission in Kenya.

In the last month, the number of children admitted to Dadaab's hospital for severe acute malnutrition has doubled to around 300, MSF said. Sixty-three of those were taken to intensive care this week after developing serious complications.

Most of the sick are also suffering from acute watery diarrhoea or severe respiratory tract infections, MSF said.

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-12-29 08:00

    Africa reaoing the benefits of: 1. African culture. 2. Western culture and benevolence. Judging from the apparently interminable horrors in parts of Africa and the futility of decades of Western aid, neither side is likely to learn anytime soon.

      robert.reeve.7564 - 2012-12-29 10:25

      $18 billion of gifted money to Africa disappears anually into the pockets of the thoroughly amoral. The brutal thruth is that if it found its way to feed the hungry and cure the sick, African states would do nothing for themselves but complain when it stopped.Colonialism was not a past evil. It was Africa's development and salvation that is sorely missed. The real evil came from those who caused it to be disbanded.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-12-29 12:40

    Zuma's supporyers need to take heed of these numbers, and it's been going for 20 years already. The African way is programmed to self destruct. We need progress to the future, not a longing after outdated ideologies and campfire stories when old men are saturated with JW Blue Label. I seriously can not see the anc taking us away from scenes/scenarious like what is described in this article We need a total remake of the political arena, and one that do not include the anc with their socialist buddies

  • pages:
  • 1