More than 6,000 ShelterBox tents and essential equipment have been sent to refugee camps near Dadaab in Kenya and Dolo Ado in Ethiopia.
The tents will house up to 6,000 families who have fled drought-hit Somalia, some walking for up to seven days to find food, water, shelter and security.
Nearly one thousand ShelterBox tents have already been pitched at the refugee camp in Kenya and in Ethiopia tents are being distributed to the most vulnerable families, particularly those who are taking care of orphaned or unaccompanied children.
The ShelterBox Response Team in Kenya, Ben Spurway (UK), Joe Cannon (UK), Laura Dale (UK) and Julia Schaper (DE), visited one of three refugee registration centres in Dadaab yesterday (August 15). Around 1,400 refugees came to the centre in one day. Many of the families, including very young children and elderly people, had walked for days to reach Kenya.
Julia, who is on her first deployment, said: “The number of children involved is very shocking and upsetting. I think it’s amazing that after such a long journey these people have kept some hope that their needs will be addressed and they will receive some help. We want to provide them with shelter as quickly as possible.”
Families from the Bu’aale District in Somalia left their village after all of their animals died as a result of the drought. Aboliyo Dahir walked for seven days across the desert with her daughters and her grandchildren. Speaking through a translator, she said: “We are not even carrying utensils or food. Now we have nothing. People were assisting us from village to village. We are tired, we have no food and some of the children are sick.”
Jelle Mohamed Aden and his wife Madino Ibrahim trekked across the bush with their four children, including a three month old baby, by foot and by car for four days to reach the border. Jelle said: “We are pastoralists and our animals died. We could not cultivate the farm because of the drought. We hope we will get assistance, food and shelter – somewhere we can reside peacefully.”
ShelterBox is working in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, Save the Children, World Vision and the refugee camp administrators in Kenya and Ethiopia to ensure that aid continues to be delivered to families in desperate need.