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By Eskedar Kifle
The number of displaced persons from Ethiopia has increased to 9,667, as of Friday March 16, according to a statement by the Kenyan Red Cross. The statement said that more and more people are continuing to cross the Ethiopia and Kenya border to seek refuge in Moyale, Marsabit County.
People started fleeing and crossing the border into Kenya after members of the Ethiopian army shot to death at least nine civilians in Moyale town. More than fifteen people were also wounded during the incident.
According to the Kenyan Red Cross, the displaced persons are currently concentrated in different areas in Kenya: Sessi (3,080 people), Sololo (2,792 people), Somare (1,830 people), Cifa/Butiye (890 people), Dambala Fachana (1,075 people) while others have integrated with the host community.
“A makeshift camp has been established at Dambala Fachana in Sololo to provide shelter for populations that were previously residing at Maeyi, Kukub, Gada Korma and Dambala Fachana in Sololo ward. Efforts to set up transitional shelters and finalize on the camp set up are also ongoing,” the statement read.
It is also stated that mass nutrition screening is currently ongoing to establish the nutritional status of children under five years, pregnant and lactating women. The prevailing situation in the makeshift camps continues to be of concern as the children may be susceptible to infections, especially with the onset of rains, which may lead to a decline in their nutritional status.
“The main ailments so far treated at the Out-Patient Department clinics during the medical outreaches are diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, eye infections and skin infections,” the statement reads.
The integrated medical outreaches have been conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH)–Kenya, Kenya Red Cross Society, Concern Worldwide and Beyond Zero Initiative.
“The Kenya Red Cross Society has been conducting multiple interventions since this crisis broke out. Today, we have led a high delegation to Moyale with key partners and decision makers for them to witness firsthand the critical needs of these families. We really hope for a sustainable solution,” said Dr. Abbas Gullet, Secretary General of Kenya Red Cross, in a press release sent out on Friday, March 16, 2018.
The statement also said that the Kenya Red Cross Society continues to provide the much-needed humanitarian support especially through food and non-food items, integrated medical outreaches, health education and sanitation. The county government has also been on site providing food and water to the refugees with support from well-wishers.