23 April 2018

Kenya Stares Cholera Carnage As Floods Uproot Multitudes

Nairobi — KENYA is at risk of a deadly outbreak of waterborne diseases following heavy rains and flash flooding afflicting hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The turbulent weather has been experienced in the northern parts of the country, including Dadaab, one of the world's largest refugee camps.

Dabaab hosts about 500 000 refugees mostly from neighboring Somalia. More than half of the population consists of children. Aid workers there report a recent increase of new arrivals from across the border.

Thousands of refugees have been forced to shelter in schools as water levels rose uncontrollably after the latest flooding.

Caleb Odhiambo, Area Manager of Save the Children's Dadaab operation, said the camp's pit latrines were overflowing, creating a breeding ground for diseases like cholera.

"What's more, the floodwaters are washing away people's belongings, livestock and homes. Families are living in open areas without access to shelter or food," he bemoaned.

Odhiambo raised concern the floods came after a severe, prolonged drought, which decimated livestock and livelihoods across the Horn of Africa and left 3,4 million people in Kenya facing severe food insecurity.

"In Dadaab, the refugees feel doomed either way because when there's a drought, there's no food and when it rains, there's disease," he said.

Aid agencies in the refugee camp are contending recent reductions in funding.

Save the Children cut its operations in half last year.

The World Food Programme will reduce food rations by 30 percent.


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