World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
One mother's hopes and fears in drought-stricken Kenya

By Manuel Moreno, UNICEF

1896 days ago   Article ID# 1168902
Original URL



DADAAB , KENYA (UNICEF) - When the skies fill with a grey blanket of thick clouds and the wind blows hard, anywhere else in the world would be expecting rain – but Dadaab, the sprawl of refugee camps approximately 100 km from the Somali border, is not anywhere else in the world, and there is little chance of rainfall here in this drought-hit region of East Africa.

A dangerous journey

Ibdio, 25, is no stranger to hardship. A single mother of three boys, she had her first child at the age of 11. Some ten days ago, she arrived at Dadaab with her family and like the rest of the estimated 1,300 people who show up every day, they had to find space in the overcrowded camp – settling eventually in Dagahaley camp.

The three camps that make up Dadaab –Dagahaley, Ifo and Hagadera- were originally designed to house 90,000 people following the civil war in Somalia in 1991. Today around 400,000 displaced people live here. Dadaab has become the largest refugee complex in the world, and is still growing.

Ibdios's family left Dinsor, situated in the Lower Juba region of war-torn Somalia, out of hunger and fear. One week before their journey, her husband abandoned her, taking with him their last two remaining cows. It took them 15 days to reach Dadaab and the trip was tough and dangerous. On the way she witnessed families that buried their children or their parents, and felt the constant fear of losing one of her own.

”We left (Somalia) with hope,” said the young mother. “Hope is what gave us the strength to continue… but now that we are here we don’t know what to do.”

The family survives today thanks to food provided by aid agencies, food that must last them for three weeks. “We still struggle with what was given to us,” she said. “Some yellow maize, oil and wheat flour. But it is almost finished.”

UNICEF provides support

Ibdio’s family is just one of many that UNICEF is striving to assist, not only in Dadaab but across the Horn of Africa.

UNICEF has increased its supplies of ready-to-use therapeutic food to hospitals and nutrition centres in the Dadaab camps and surrounding host communities, helping to treat the many children who arrive, suffering from acute malnutrition.

To improve access to safe water along the refugee routes, UNICEF is also supporting the delivery of drinking water by trucks. Some 20,000 litres of water have been distributed to the refugees so far. This has enabled families to access water at regular intervals and has improved the situation for host communities settled around water distribution points.

In the camps, UNICEF is working with other organizations to distribute jerry cans and undertake hygiene promotion and provision of soap, all designed to reduce the ever-present threat of disease outbreaks.

Restoring hope

This is not an overnight crisis. It requires immediate relief as well as a long-term vision. UNICEF is planning to construct 146 new learning centres and classrooms in the camps to accommodate newly-arrived refugees and alleviate congestion in pre-existing schools. These centres will be situated in camp outskirts where many newly-arrived refugees live.

To ensure that new arrivals know what services are available, UNICEF is also working with other agencies in Dadaab, developing communication networks to inform refugees and host communities of what is available in areas such as education, health and social protection.

This combination of services and support is just part of a major operation that aims to lift the clouds on the horizon of the more than 2 million children affected by the drought across the Horn of Africa. With each life saved, and every child protected, some of the hope that mothers like Ibdio so desperately seek may start to return.

Copyright 2016 UNICEF   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1896 days ago   Article ID# 1168902

UNICEF     View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Unite For Children News

World Polio Day: WHO and UNICEF call for no complacency and increased access in last push to eradicate

23 hours ago From reliefweb.int 


UNICEF delivers water at the front line of Mosul operation

2 days ago From reliefweb.int 


Actress Ma Yili promotes early child care project

3 days ago From china.org.cn 


UNICEF calls on European Council to address plight of refugee and migrant children

3 days ago From unicef.org 


UNICEF scores vaccine deal that would avert millions of childhood deaths globally

4 days ago From romper.com 


Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next >> 

<< Return To World News

Action Center

Climate change is dulling the survival instincts of fish

Action: Climate Change

The sensory systems of fish are short-circuiting, and a new study blames climate change.

As the climate warms, ...

Colorado's bears and lions need your help

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has proposed a plan to kill mountain lions and black bears in the Piceance Basin over a three-yea ...

Gold mining deforestation in Peruvian reserve surpasses 450 hectares

Action: Stop Deforestation

In the past two months, another 100 hectares of tropical rainforest have been demolished in Tambopata National Reserve, where ...

Oregon: Say no to a massive new factory farm

Action: Stop Pollution

Oregon officials are considering whether to permit a new factory farm in the northeast's Umatilla River Basin, and we need yo ...

No, the Great Barrier Reef is not dead, but it is very, very sick

Action: Save Our Oceans

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure, was trending on social media Friday, after it was declared dead ...

View All Actions >>





Follow Us


Find A Charity

Action Center




Twitter Support



Add A Site




Privacy Policy






Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.