Somali refugees flee to Kenya as drought, malnutrition cases rise
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Somali refugees flee to Kenya as drought, malnutrition cases rise

Somali refugees flee to Kenya as drought, malnutrition cases rise


By Yunis Dekow

Thousands of undocumented migrants from Somalia are fleeing into Northern Kenya due to severe drought. 

This comes as the Horn of Africa region grapples with the worst drought in decades, malnutrition and livestock deaths from five consecutive seasons without any rainfall.

Dalsan TV has witnessed an increase in new arrivals from Somalia in Dadaab, most claiming to have left because of the drought.

“I don’t have a roof over my head. I am hungry and poor. I stay in a makeshift camp,” said a new arrival who had travelled for three months. 

She says she travelled with Donkey cart to the refugee camp to escape the drought menace affecting many across the country. 

The new refugees arriving from Somalia have no access to registration which would have helped them secure relief aid from UN agencies.

Kenya stopped registration of new arrivals from Somalia in 2016, and without access to documentation, most new arrivals tend to have very limited access to basic services.

There has been a significant decline in humanitarian funding for the Dadaab refugee camp and the spike in new arrivals will only put more pressure on basic assistance.

The Dadaab refugee complex has a population of 218,873 registered refugees and asylum seekers as at the end of July 2020. The Dadaab refugee complex consists of three camps. 

The first camp was established in 1991, when refugees fleeing the civil war in Somalia started to cross the border into Kenya.

A second large influx occurred in 2011, when some 130,000 refugees arrived, fleeing drought and famine in southern Somalia.

By By Yunis Dekow
Mr. Dekow is Broadcast and Digital editorial director at Dalsan Media English Service. He is also a writer, public information, media management and Strategic Communication expert.