This queuing up for registration can take days in certain cases, after a journey of countless days, which sometimes turned into weeks, of walking with no water neither food. Mostly women and children are found trekking across the desert to reach the border, the men being either dead or still on the family land trying to save the little they have left. Many stories are already heard about women leaving the weakest children behind, on the side of the road, in the attempt to save the strongest. Malnutrition rates are going up to 30% in certain areas of Somalia, whereas a quarter of children are categorized as dangerously malnourished in the parts of Kenya that are most affected, according to Save The Children. With 1 300 refugees coming to Dadaab every single day, according to the BBC on the 8th of July 2011, the need for a new camp is unquestionable. Nevertheless, the Kenyan government has shown reluctance to build a new camp due to the fear of refugees staying in Kenya permanently, on the one hand, and the fear of the impact that such numerous influxes of new refugees would have in already severely affected arid areas, on the other hand, fears for the environment and the local Kenyans.
The camp of Dadaab is currently the last desperate stop of a horrendous journey for thousands of people, turning this camp into a city of already the size of Miami (U.S.A.). To make matters worse, twice as many are displaced within their own country. They are the ones who decide to stay but can no longer survive in their home or land, therefore they still leave and move towards the closest IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) camps, bringing the total, in the South and Central areas of Somalia, to 1 253 000 IDPs (equivalent to the population of Prague), among which 372 000 in the area of Mogadishu alone and close to half a million in Shabelle Hoose, on the southern side of Mogadishu. More than 410 000 lives in temporary improvised shelters on the road from Mogadishu to Afgooye, making this road the next biggest shanty town in Africa, or even maybe of the world. For more information please contact: Fatumo Farah (HIRDA Director) at 027163831, or take a look at our website www.hirda .org HIRDA-HIMILO RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION