Nairobi, Kenya January 8, 2014…As fighting in South Sudan continues for weeks now, thousands of Sudanese fleeing the hostilities are finding refuge in the neighbouring Kakuma refugee camp located northwest of Kenya.
According to the United Nations, at least 1,000 people have been killed and nearly 200,000 displaced since violence broke out in mid-December.
Samuel Mwangi, a World Vision Commodity Officer in Kakuma Refugee Camp says the needs are increasing with the sudden influx of the refugees. “The response load is becoming heavier, the largest number of the new arrivals are children and therefore we are appealing for additional support to meet their pressing needs,” Samuel explains.
World Vision is working closely with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other humanitarian agencies through the inter-agency coordination meetings to carry out a coordinated response.
“Thousands arriving at the refugee camp are in urgent need of shelter, food, water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) facilities and non-food-items,” Samuel says.
The Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) says it has recorded a massive influx of refugees coming in through Lokichogio, located at the Kenya-Sudan border. According to the DRA officials the office has received over 4,000 individuals since 25th of December. This number is expected to rise dramatically.
“Arrangements are underway to have the individuals registered and settled in the camp. We continue to receive new arrivals fleeing the chaos in South Sudan at an average of 400 per day. The children (less than ten years old) account for 80% of the new arrivals,” a DRA official says. “This is of deep concern,” adds Samuel of World Vision.
The number expected from South Sudan as a result of the intense fighting is 20,000 however this could go higher to 80,000 people.
World Vision is planning to scale up its operations in the refugee camp particularly, providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and non-food items (NFIs).
The humanitarian agency is planning to provide 1000 rescue kits consisting of (tents, blankets, kitchen utensils, sanitary towels, mosquito nets, children clothes, toilet paper, among other items to benefit 1,000 families). This is to supplement the efforts of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
World Vision currently operates in three of the four camps within the Kakuma Refugee Camp, providing monthly food rations to over 130,000 people. The new arrivals are likely to be settled in camp four where World Vision operates.
Kakuma Refugee Camp is the second largest refugee camp in Kenya after Dadaab, hosting more than 110,000 refugees, and a majority from South Sudan. According to DRA records as at 5th January 2014, the total registered active camp population in Kakuma Refugee Camp had risen to 128,540.