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Kenya: Kakuma rebuilding

Briefing notes

Kenya: Kakuma rebuilding

16 November 2001

Aid workers have built new structures and roofs for more than 3,500 families since violent rains two weeks ago left over 23,000 refugees without shelter at Kakuma camp in north-eastern Kenya. UNHCR staff this morning report that teams have so far constructed over 1,000 new family shelters in an area of the camp that was not flooded. Another 2,500 family structures that suffered less damage have been re-roofed using plastic sheeting and other construction material. In all, more than 7,000 family shelters were damaged or collapsed completely during the four days of heavy rains.

Work to move refugees out of temporary accommodation with neighbours and community centres continues. UNHCR staff report that rain fell again Wednesday, temporarily halting the construction of mud bricks used for the walls of new shelters, and that the shortage of plastic sheeting is also slowing the effort. The scale of the emergency wiped out the camp's stocks. UNHCR dispatched another 2,500 sheets from Nairobi and is moving another 14,500 from its regional stockpile in western Tanzania. A further 5,000 pieces have been ordered from the supplier and are expected to arrive in Kenya at the end of the week.

Aid workers have re-established a 24-hour supply of clean water to all portions of the camp, installing another 200 taps yesterday. More latrines are being dug and medical workers say the health situation is satisfactory. School children are being mobilized on Saturdays to help make mud bricks for families unable to do the work themselves. Volunteers among the schoolchildren will also pitch in with a general camp cleanup. UNHCR has purchased hundreds of hand tools, including rakes, spades, hoes, metal buckets and wheelbarrows to collect litter and drain standing pools of water that flood waters left behind.