Adan and his family arriving by donkey cart at Dadaab (Copyright: WFP/Rose Ogola)
This is the story of just one of the Somali refugee families arriving at Dadaab in north-eastern Kenya. With a population of more than 400,000 and some 1,300 new arrivals each day, the camps at Dadaab form the biggest refugee settlement in the world.
It took three weeks for Adan Kulo to walk from his home town of Dinsoor in Somalia to Dadaab in north-eastern Kenya with his pregnant wife and six children, one of whom was sick child.
“It was a very difficult journey”, he said. “We had very little water and food during the journey. We were robbed by bandits who stole all the money we had, about US$50. My wife is pregnant and our youngest fell ill on the way. I was so afraid they’d die after our food ran out two days before we arrived”.
Adan, a pastoralist, lost all his livestock to drought in Somalia – three years without rain.
“I realised my family would soon follow”, he said, “so we packed the few belongings we had on our donkey and headed for Dadaab”.
At Hagadera camp in Dadaab, Adan and his family were given a three-week ration of food by WFP and non food items such as blankets and cooking utensils.
“Now that we have food, I’m looking for a spot where I can set up a home for my family, he said”. Like other new arrivals at the overcrowded camp, Adan has no option but to construct a shelter made from thorn tree branches, covered with pieces of cloth.