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'A vision of hell' - Horn of Africa Drought

 
 
Izzie
 
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 05:40 am
'A vision of hell'



Quote:
The UK's Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched an emergency appeal to help the more than 10 million people affected by severe drought in the Horn of Africa. The BBC's Ben Brown is the first TV journalist to visit the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya, where more than 1,000 people arrive each day seeking help.

At a makeshift cattle market in the middle of the refugee camp, herdsmen are trying to sell off what little livestock they have left.

But no-one wants to buy the cattle and goats on sale here, for the chances are that very soon they will be dead.

There is nowhere for them to graze: the pastures here are parched and arid, and it has barely rained for two years running.

"I'm selling my cattle at knock-down prices," said one man. "I'm practically giving them away."

Not far away, the landscape is littered with the carcasses of dead animals.

In this part of the world, livestock are everything: they represent a family's entire assets, capital, savings and income. When the animals die, it frequently means the humans do as well.


Across the sprawling mass of the Dadaab refugee camp - some 50 km sq (19 sq miles) - there are several graveyards now, full of small mounds of earth, where chronically malnourished Somali refugees have been buried.

Usually the graves are horribly small: infant mortality in this camp has risen threefold in the last few months, according to the United Nations.

Infants - children aged five and under - are especially vulnerable to malnutrition and all the illnesses and diseases which frequently accompany it, such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.

With more than 1,000 refugees arriving here every day, Dadaab is becoming overcrowded and insanitary. The camp director told me there could soon be half a million people here - more a city than a refugee camp.

Many of the new arrivals have walked for days or weeks to get here, desperate to escape not only from the drought in Somalia but also its endless civil war.

The children especially are malnourished and dehydrated when they finally get here. The tragic irony is that some of them will die within a day or so of their arrival.




A group of UK aid agencies has launched a joint fund-raising appeal to help more than 10 million people affected by severe drought in the Horn of Africa.

Thousands of families in desperate need of food and water have trekked for days from Somalia to the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya.

The drought is the worst in East Africa for 60 years and the UN described it as a "humanitarian emergency".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14074828



Breaks my heart to see this ... so very sad ...


Donations can be made from Thursday at www.dec.org.uk by phone 0370 60 60 900 or by texting ‘CRISIS’ to 70000 to donate £5 or by post at PO Box 999 London EC3A 3AA.

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