Hunger in East Africa: Personnel Deployment for an On-Site Inspection
Due to a severe drought not seen in 60 years in east Africa, the flow of refugees from Somalia to refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya is not stopping.
Many parents are forced to abandon their children. Others make it to camps only to be turned away. Graves of children keep on increasing.
Given this crisis in east Africa, from June 12-22,our managing director Hirohisa Seike and Hunger Zero special envoy Yoshihiko Akimoto (president of Pan Akimoto) will be visiting Kenya to assess the situation. A report of their assessment will be made on this year's World Food Day.
(Local Conditions: The Following is an Article published in the Tokyo Shimbun on September 4th, 2011)
Mr. Hakozaki, who had been conducting aid work in Dadaab though the UNHCR office in Kenya, one day was told by a young woman who had walked several hundred kilometers from Somalia,"I left behind a young child who couldn't walk anymore on the road." She was carrying with her one other child, and they would all three have died if she had kept on taking care of her weakened child.
This is not something unusual. Incidences of children being abandoned by their parents are occurring frequently. Children who have been taken in custody by the police and are reunited with their parents are the lucky ones. Infants and toddlers are the most likely to be abandoned.
In the UNHCR refugee camp that had anticipated 90,000 people, there are now around 440,000 refugees. Another 1,200-1,500 refugees arrive daily, and it takes over a month to process them.. The overflow of 30,000 refugees take shelter outside the camps using scraps of cloth they have brought or plastic sheets issued by UNHCR. Three-meter high tents spread for several kilometers.
In several locations outside the camps there are dozens of graves. They are all small size, clearly belonging to children. Among them are the graves of children who died on route. As the number of graves increases, some are dug right next to the tents.
Food is distributed in the camps, but the biggest concern is water. Within the camps all tents have water stations located a short distance away, but at times people must travel two hours outside for water. Small children go back and forth carrying 10 liter tanks.