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Kenya: Massive flooding in Kakuma refugee camp

Briefing notes

Kenya: Massive flooding in Kakuma refugee camp

28 April 2006 Also available in:

Heavy rains this week resulted in massive flooding in northern Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp, leaving a 2-year-old child dead and more than 2,000 refugees homeless. The floods destroyed some 270 houses in the camp. Many of the refugees' shelters in one zone of the camp collapsed or were washed away by torrential rains on Wednesday. A 2-year-old child died after falling into a pool of water.

Yesterday, UNHCR teams, together with other aid agencies operating in Kakuma, began to assess the damage and the needs of the refugees. Blankets, sleeping mats and other items will be distributed to the victims. Many of the roads in the area, however, remained impassable because of flooding. We are considering the transfer of the refugees affected by the floods to drier parts of the sprawling camp, which is currently home to some 90,000 refugees - primarily from neighbouring South Sudan. We also fear the spread of water-borne diseases because many of the pit latrines in the affected area of the camp were flooded and collapsed.

There are also fears that food distributed to refugees only a few days ago has also been destroyed by the floods. UNHCR started the first repatriation operation of Sudanese refugees to South Sudan from Kakuma camp on December 17. Many of the Kakuma refugees have registered with us for the repatriation.