Humanitarian Support Scaled Up to Best Support Displaced Persons from Ethiopia
The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) received approximately 9,667 displaced persons from Ethiopia who were seeking refuge in Moyale Town. The displaced persons were hosted within Moyale town and Sololo areas. Others were said to have integrated with the host community, living with relatives, friends and well-wishers.
The individuals began streaming in on Saturday, 10th March 2018 around 10 p.m. with majority of them being women and children. Those displaced included pregnant and lactating mothers, chronically ill persons, those abled differently and the elderly. The number of those seeking refuge had been rising each day and more families arrived in the later days.
KRCS immediately released family kits (Tarpaulins, Kitchen sets, Mosquito nets, Bar soaps, Thermal Blankets and Jerry cans), which were distributed amongst the displaced families. More support was in the form of Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kits (Basic Unit, Supplementary Unit and Malaria Kit) and reproductive health kits (Kit 2A). A medical team of 12, was further dispatched. This team consisted of Nurses, Clinical Officers, Public Health Officers, as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Officers.
“Kenya Red Cross sent a medical surge team together with a relief team to carry out assessments and offer the needed support. At the moment, we responded purely on a humanitarian basis, looking at issues of health, water, sanitation and food, and I really thank the county government for their support to this population which largely consists of women and children,” said Dr. Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, KRCS.
Concentration areas included Sessi, Sololo, Somare, Cifa/Butiye, Maeyi, Kukub, Gatta Korma and Dambala Fachana. This was informed by an ongoing assessment that was commissioned on 12 March, 2018 after the formation of a Sub County Steering Group whose immediate task was to identify the number of the displaced persons in Moyale and their immediate needs.
The assessment identified shelter, food, water supply and health support as the key areas needing urgent interventions. Other areas included the issue of sanitation and protection. Some of the refugees further moved with their livestock, therefore, piling pressure on the existing scarce resources.
“Currently, the refugee status of these individuals is yet to be determined. Once this determination is made, then hopefully there can be a proper setting of camps if need be. We hope and pray that a solution is found,” added Dr. Gullet.
KRCS interventions include the distribution of food and non-food items, alongside the provision of integrated medical outreaches, health education, among other support.
“The Kenya Red Cross is scaling up its interventions to ensure the displaced families receive adequate humanitarian support.” continued Dr. Gullet.