Monday, 29 August 2011

Covering the drought stricken land of Dadaab Refugee Camps.

Week 1

Dadaab is located approximately 100 kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border. The nearest major town is Garissa, which is the headquarters of the North Eastern Province. Dadaab features a UNHCR base that serves refugee camps around the town, they are split up into three main centres called Hagadera, Ifo and Dagahaley. Dadaab hosts people that have fled various conflicts in the larger Eastern Africa region. Most have come as a consequence of the civil war in southern Somalia. Dadaab hosts a very growing number of people and statistics say 440 000 people are currently living in the overcrowded camps. 

My first few days were extremely interesting photographing how the camps run and how the refugees get food, aid and shelter very quickly. Interpreters were the only way forward, for communication, logistics and access to different sections around the site. 

The World Food Program (WFP) are based at every camp in Dadaab, handing out maze meal, cooking oil, flower, corn and other various staple diet nutrients to families. Hospitals and health clinics are spread around helping with severe malnutrition. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are the three main hospitals serving the desperate communities with problems such as TB, skin diseases, handicapped children, HIV, and other life threatening illnesses. 

Visting all these hospitals, showed me how the crisis is worsening by the day and how thousands of refugees are traveling in from there villages in Somalia. Barefooted, these children walk for hundreds of miles to receive help from aid agencies, sick tired and very hungry, many children and elderly people don't make it to Dadaab.

During this week, I had the opportunity to photograph the Crown Princess of Denmark who came to experience for herself what the Somali people are going through. 

(EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) 

All Pictures Copyright: ZED JAMESON

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