Kenya: Somali refugees continuing to arrive
We continue to receive new Somali refugees in Kenya. Yesterday (Thursday) our teams transported some 757 refugees who had arrived at the border town of Liboi in the past two days to our camp in Dadaab. On Wednesday, our teams transferred about 35 people from Amuma, another border point 98 km east of Dadaab. Dadaab is a huge complex comprising three camps holding a total of 134,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia.
Most of the new refugees, mainly women and children, fled Mogadishu and Kismayo following armed clashes between the Islamic Courts Union and warlord militias. Other refugees came from the Baioda area, the headquarters of the Transitional Government.
We should be receiving construction materials soon to build a reception centre in Liboi where new arrivals will be registered and sheltered before being transferred to Dadaab. We are also expecting delivery of non-food items such as soap, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, plastic sheets, blankets, mats and hospital tents. Water and sanitation materials have arrived. UNHCR works closely with governmental medical authorities and a GTZ medical team accompanying the convoys to provide new arrivals, especially children, with polio and measles immunizations. In Liboi, agencies based in Dadaab such as WFP and CARE also assist in transportation of refugees and distribution of relief items at the camp when refugees arrive
We fear that our transfer operation of the refugees from the border to Dadaab might further be complicated by rains. It has already started to rain in other parts of the region and this may soon spread to the Dadaab and Liboi area, which would complicate road transfers.
Since August, UNHCR has received 4,220 Somali refugees from the Liboi border. Since January, some 25,000 Somalis have found refuge in neighbouring Kenya.