Clean water for Dadaab’s most vulnerable

Emergencies article written on the 27 Jul 2011

JJ Singano - a Oxfam public health engineer stands by a newly installed water tank at Dadaab refugee camp. 1400 refugees come to the camp each day and so JJ has to act fast to respond to the growing number of residents.

As we reported last week, Kenya’s overcrowded, under-equipped Dadaab refugee complex is struggling to cope with 9,000-plus Somalis arriving every week in search of respite from the drought and conflict plaguing their country.

But Oxfam is there now, working to make conditions more tolerable for 20,000 refugees who – due to lack of space in the camps themselves – have settled on the outskirts of IFO1. Our mission? To provide them with clean water and sanitation as quickly as possible.

Fast facts

  • We have six 10,000 litre tanks, five 5000 litre tanks and one 2000 litre tank in Dadaab
  • Tanks are refilled every day
  • Of the 20,000 people we are reaching, 16,000 are receiving their water through trucking and the remaining 4,000 through pipes direct from the borehole
  • We are also providing a further 500 people from host communities with clean water
  • Before we installed our tanks, there was no water in the outskirts of Dadaab. The nearest water source was more than 2km away, and was often empty
  • The average person needs a minimum of 10 litres of water per day. Currently, refugees are receiving only six
  • A 20-litre jerry can costs 250 Kenyan shillings (approx. AUD$2.50)
  • To install a tap stand costs 27,000 Kenyan shillings (approx. AUD $275)

This is just the beginning of our relief efforts in Dadaab and its surroundings. We plan to provide clean, safe water to a further 50,000 people yet. Of course, your support will help us do this sooner rather than later, so please consider donating to our Africa Food Crisis appeal.

Find out more

Watch our video report from Dadaab camp and learn more about the East Africa crisis