A young Somali girl in the Horn of Africa.
Sometimes leaving is hard. But in the case of Dadaab, Kenya, the hub for the Horn of Africa famine response, it’s a good thing. This is not a place anyone would want to stay for long – especially the families who fled Somalia’s famine last year.
The Dadaab refugee camp is the largest in the world, and at the height of the famine, it became home to nearly half a million people. It is not a place to start over. But for many, it was the only place to go to try and survive the crisis.
When World Concern arrived in Dadaab in July 2011, we decided not to work in the camp itself – there was an ample response by aid organizations already working there. Instead, we chose to reach people who were en-route to the camp, or had stopped along the way in “host” communities on both sides of the Kenya-Somalia border. These villages became inundated with refugees and displaced families, and were stretched beyond their capacity to help. There wasn’t enough water. There wasn’t enough food. And the people arriving were in dire need of medical care and emergency assistance.
With your help, we set up a voucher system to feed families with food from local markets, thereby helping support the economy in these communities. More than 130,000 people were fed through this system, saving many lives. We also provided medical care to 24,500 people in a joint response with partner Medical Teams International. We were one of the only international relief agencies able to work in parts of southern Somalia at the time.
We rehabilitated water pans, fixed wells that were broken from being over-used, and installed rainwater catchment tanks, bringing clean water to 41,450 people. We built latrines, and trained people to keep their families healthy with good hygiene. More than 100,000 people received emergency supplies, such as cooking pots, blankets, tarps, and mosquito nets.
Most importantly, people received hope that they could survive and, eventually … start over. And that’s why we’re leaving Dadaab to continue our work in areas where families are resettling and rebuilding their lives. We’re moving from disaster response to building resilient communities, helping them plant crops and learn better farming techniques. Some will start businesses, and children can get back in school. This is the goal of helping – equipping people to sustain themselves and have a better life.
Thank you for joining us in this challenging response. We couldn’t have done this without the support and generosity of our donors.
For more information on how we’re serving communities long-term, and to join us in transforming lives in other areas, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/one-village.
We're helping farmers grow better crops.