Kenya opens fourth refugee camp in response to Somali surge
Jul 15, 2011
Kenya announced today that it would open a new refugee camp in response to the massive influx of Somali refugees who are fleeing the drought and political turmoil in their home country, the UN News Centre reports.
The new camp, known now as Ifo II, is the fourth in the Dadaab area in the northeast corner of Kenya. The previous three camps were created in the 1990s when political turmoil in Somalia began. The camps were designed to accommodate about 90,000 people. The Dadaab refugee settlement's population had grown to nearly 380,000 recently, the news source reports.
The head of the United Nations refugee agency welcomes this humanitarian decision, which will ease the congestion at the Dadaab refugee settlement, where about 1,300 Somalis arrive each day.
The massive swell of people at the Kenyan camps had stretched the facilities' resources as far as they could go and caused concern about food security and the nutritional state of children in the camp as well as in local Kenyan communitues, IRIN reports.
Before Ilfo II opened, the overflow of refugees began to form informal settlements outside camp boundaries, which lacked broad access to clean water or toilets, risking disease outbreaks, according to the news source.