Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > World Video

Residents of Dadaab camp in Kenya prepare to go home

Reporter: Abdulaziz Billow 丨 CCTV.com

09-21-2016 13:00 BJT

In Kenya, residents of the world's largest refugee camp are going home. The country is shutting down the Dadaab camp in the northeast. Nearly 300,000 Somalis live there. Kenya says keeping the camp open is too expensive. The migrants also pose a security risk.

Ahmed Abdi Mukhtar should be in school. Instead he is supporting his family - by sewing clothes. Until recently he lived in Dadaab, the sprawling refugee camp over the border in Kenya.

Ten days ago, he came back to Somalia - with his mother and eight siblings. They live in a temporary camp. And 14-year-old Ahmed has all but given up on completing his education.

"There is no free education here, we have to pay for everything here. All the school going children are now at home. I lived in Dadaab refugee camp for six years. There we received a lot of support, but now we are back home but we have no life here,"  Ahmed said.

Ahmed is among thousands who have come back from Dadaab this year.

"For four months, we've lived in deplorable condition on the outskirts of Kismayo, with no food, now water and shelter. UNHCR never gave us anything when we returned. It's hopeless living here as a woman especially with two young children," Returnee Shamso Adan said.

This camp alone here in Kismayo is home to more than 2000 of them. For some of them - this is their first time in Somalia and this is not what they expected.

UN officials are working with Kenyan and local authorities to help the repratriation. But coping with so many coming back in such a short period is straining already thin resources.

"Their ability to accommodate a very large number is very limited. The challenge is beyond humanitarian this is a very under developed context with a very weak capacity in terms of health, education, water - these are what people need," UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia Peter De Clercq said.

And this is just the start of the repatriation. Kenya wants Dadaab shut in a few months. If the shutdown does go ahead, hundreds of thousands more will be coming back -and very little hope awaits them here.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat