BY AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – The Dabaab refugee camp in Kenya is facing a humanitarian emergency due to severe overcrowding, mainly with Somalis who had fled fighting back home, Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday.
“More refugees are on their way,” nurse Nenna Arnold is quoted as saying in a new report published by the humanitarian organisation.
“We are already at bursting point, but the figures keep growing. This situation is a humanitarian emergency.”
The office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which runs the camp, was having a hard time providing even basic services like clean water, education and sanitary services to camp residents, the report said.
A new arrival waits about 12 days for his or her first food ration, and more than a month for cooking utensils and blankets.
Located in east Kenya, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Somali border, Dabaab was opened more than 20 years ago, mainly to care for refugees from the Somali civil war.
The camp was originally built to hold a maximum of 90,000 people, but now houses more than 350,000.
The Kenyan government in April urged the UNHCR to set up camps for displaced persons inside Somalia in a bid to stem the tide of refugees crossing the border.
Kenya recently cancelled plans to build a new camp to hold another 80,000 people, citing security reasons.