The heavy downpour in the months of April and May has led to seven people drowning
At least seven people have died in the seasonal rivers that meander within the Kakuma settlement area inhabited by both the host and refugee population.
During the period March to May a male adult from the host community reportedly died in the river, as well as five refugees who died between these months. The seven who died drowned in the river following a heavy downpour that led to flooding in Kakuma.
Two Darfurians, one male adult died in the Kakuma flooding in mid April. One was found dead while the body of the other one was not found according to the source from a community leader.
In speaking with an official from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) they stated that they have only confirmed four refugees who have died due to drowning since last January. “From January to May, we only had four people who had drowned,” said the IRC health leader in an interview with KANERE journalist
However, KANERE received different reports that seven persons had drowned inside the camp. This number varies from the information obtained from the IRC. “We don’t keep data of natural calamities. Ten people may get drowned but we might only receive three bodies,” affirmed a clinical official at the IRC.
In mid-May a Sudanese refugee child of seven years old from Equatoria community died in the tributaries of the river Nabek that connects with Kalemchuch river which forms a larger river as it joins up with Tarach river at the outskirts of the Kakuma settlement inhabited by a local community of Turkana people. These rivers have frequently been dangerous where many cases of drowning took place in and near the camp settlement.
A number of unidentified persons are reported missing, according to local security departments who claimed that some of the cases of drowning have been recorded while many cases may go without being reported to the concerned authorities. “We can’t know the real number but flooding is dangerous in this camp,” LWF security personnel told KANERE.
Additionally, from the Ethiopian community in Kakuma 1, a male child of eleven months old crawled down to the pool of water and was drowned; in the past the pool acted as a collection point of overflowing water from the water tap at Kakuma 1 zone 1 block 10. During the flooding the hazardous hole filled up, posing a threat to unattended children in the camp. It was a sad moment for the parents and neighbours who found the dead body floating in the small pool. The pool was later covered up to avoid any possible accident in the future.
In a section of Kakuma 2 settlements a Somali male youth and a Sudanese male adult died in the Kalemchuch river in the month of May. In December 2011, two children from one family of Burundian origin drowned in the pool of water at Kakuma 1 zone 4 block 1, moments after taking lunch with their parents.
KANERE urges the camp residents and the host community to beware of the dangers linked to the flooding, especially for innocent children.