Somalis face hunger and fear in Kenya's refugee camps

Sat, 2011-09-24 14:39 by admin
A child suffering from severe malnutrition in the German-run hospital in the Ifo camp. Photograph: Matilde Gattoni for the Observer

Victims of war and drought are at the mercy of bandits as they trek miles across the desert to seek UN help. Then corrupt officials demand starving families pay for food

Matteo Fagotto
The Observer, Sunday 24 July 2011

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"It has been a terrible experience. There were eight of us and we had to survive on just a few kilos of flour for five days. Hunger and thirst haunted us during the whole journey."

Holding her year-old grandson in her arms, her face brushed by the dusty morning desert wind, Sarura Ali and her family have just arrived in the north-eastern Kenyan refugee centre of Dadaab, after fleeing from the drought in the Somali village of Waldid. "The heat was unbearable, so we were forced to walk at night. Every step we took was in the dark, fearfully."

Several hundred people have gathered at the registration point at Daghaley, one of three refugee camps around Dadaab. The family-run businesses of these small farmers and cattle herders from Somalia have been wiped out …

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