Did you know that if Dadaab Refugee camp was a city, it would be Kenya’s 3rd largest in terms of population?
It is the world’s largest refugee camp and is home to more than half a million people, tens of thousands of whom were born there. The camps cover a total area of 50 square kilometres and are within an 18 km radius of Dadaab town.
By comparison, Kenya’s third largest town – Kisumu, has a population just over 409,000 going by the 2009 census.
UNHCR’s initial plan was to have only 90,000 refugees in Dadaab, but the numbers from Somalia kept on swelling.
If the government goes ahead with its threat of relocating the refugees back to their country, the logistical challenge will clearly be very huge. It also goes without saying how the lives of the refugees will be affected. Some have been there for nearly two decades and thousands were born there.
Quoting Dr. Stephanie Kayden, director of the Humanitarian Studies program at Harvard University, Dadaab is a small city, with not only camps, but hospitals, schools and markets.
Well, these photos show you what 0.5 million people look like.
Kenyatta University even has a campus there. I wonder what will happen to this if the camp is shut down.