Hygiene messages, placed on the walls of new toilets, are helping reduce disease. Photo: Grace Kamuyu/Tearfund
20 August 2012
People living in the world’s largest refugee camp are benefiting from Tearfund work to improve water and sanitation conditions.
The Dadaab site in northern Kenya is home to 465,000 refugees, most having fled warfare and dire food shortages in neighbouring Somalia.
The camp’s population has risen by a third over the last year or so, largely as a result of the food crisis that has affected East Africa following an extreme drought but also exacerbated by spikes in food prices.
The National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK) in partnership with Tearfund has been responding to the increasing needs of Dadaab’s residents.
As a result, nearly 400 latrines have been built and another 270 are under construction. To combat disease, NCCK is ensuring that the toilets have hygiene messages on the walls. The camp’s residents are also being trained in how to build and maintain the toilet facilities.
A water point repaired by Tearfund partner CRWRC in Turkana region, Kenya. Photo: Grace Kamuyu/Tearfund
Tearfund and NCCK are working with other agencies at Dadaab to increase access to sanitation facilities, which currently cater for only about 60 per cent of the population.
Another Tearfund partner, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), is also working with people living in camps elsewhere in northern Kenya.
They have been digging new and repairing old boreholes in Katilu district of Turkana region.
As well as two camps for internally displaced people, this work is benefiting surrounding villages and it means children no longer have to drink unsafe water from irrigation ditches or river beds. Incidents of diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases have been reduced as a result.