Photo Gallery: Dadaab, Kenya: Somalis fighting for survival

Somali refugees continue to arrive at the overcrowded camp complex in Dadaab, northeastern Kenya, every day. They are fleeing the violent conflict in Somalia and the devastating effects of ongoing drought and lack of food. The third week of July alone brought 5,117 new refugees, pushing the total number of people in and around the Dadaab camp to 387,893. The three camp sites—Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley—were originally built to hold a combined 90,000 people.

Most of the new arrivals must remain on the outskirts of the overcrowded camp, where they are not receiving adequate assistance and must contend with delays in registration and access to food, water, and shelter. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding to medical needs, including treatment of around 10,000 malnourished people in and around the Dadaab camp.

All photos by Brendan Bannon.

© Brendan BannonSomali refugees who have fled drought and violence and come to an overcrowded refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, carry their sick and malnourished children to an MSF feeding center on the outskirts of one of the camps. There were around 10,000 people enrolled in MSF's feeding program in Dadaab as of July 21.
© Brendan BannonRefugees wait at the reception center in Dagahaley, one of three sites in the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northern Kenya. Currently, it takes two months for new arrivals at the camp to be registered, which means delays in receiving direly needed food rations.
© Brendan BannonA refugee uses twigs and scraps of material to build a shelter for her family. There is no room for most new arrivals in the Dadaab camps, so the thousands of people who arrive every week must carve out a place for themselves in the surrounding desert. MSF estimates that by the end of 2011, there will be 500,000 people living in and around the camps, which were originally built to accommodate 90,000.
© Brendan BannonSomali refugees wait to be officially registered and to receive a ration card for food. Since it can be two months before they get their first food ration, many refugees already settled in the camp share their food with new arrivals.
© Brendan BannonDr. Luana Lima works with patients at the MSF hospital in Dagahaley. MSF staff are seeing high numbers of malnourished children, especially those living on the outskirts of the camp.
© Brendan BannonThis mother of six traveled by foot from Somalia to Dadaab. Her youngest child is malnourished and is being treated at MSF’s hospital in Dagahaley. MSF medical staff are seeing not only children who have arrived at the camp malnourished, but also those who have become malnourished while staying at the camp.
© Brendan BannonA malnourished child rests with her mother at MSF’s hospital in Dagahaley. The tens of thousands of Somali refugees who have come to the overcrowded camp are fleeing the ongoing violence in their country and an ongoing, devastating drought that has made food scarce and too expensive. Many people, especially children, arrive malnourished.
© Brendan BannonThis little boy’s arm was broken by a bullet when he was caught in an exchange of gunfire in Somalia. Before his family fled to Kenya, he was treated by doctors in MSF’s hospital in Marere, in Somalia’s Lower Juba region—the only hospital in the area.
© Brendan BannonAn MSF doctor examines the mother of a malnourished child in MSF’s therapeutic feeding center at the Dadaab refugee camp complex. MSF is currently treating more than 2,400 acutely malnourished children in its outpatient therapeutic feeding program, 130 who are at risk of death in its inpatient therapeutic feeding center, and 5,047 moderately malnourished in its supplementary feeding program.
© Brendan BannonYoung Somali refugees wait to receive vaccinations from MSF health workers.
© Brendan BannonA severely malnourished child is fed through his nose at MSF’s hospital in the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab. When MSF conducted a nutrition screening on the outskirts of one of the camps, staff found that 37.7 percent of children between six months and five years old were suffering from acute malnutrition; 43.3 percent of children between five and 10 years old were malnourished.
© Brendan BannonAn MSF ambulance arrives at the reception center at Dadaab to pick up patients in urgent need of medical attention. Many Somali refugees, especially children, arrive at the camp dangerously malnourished; some do not survive the journey.
© Brendan BannonMen dig a grave for a 35-year-old mother of five from Somalia. She had arrived at Dadaab camp in Kenya two months earlier, after a 290-km [180-mile] journey from Sakow district, southern Somalia. Her children all survived.
© Brendan BannonFresh graves in Dagahaley, part of Dadaab refugee camp. Many people arrive at the camp malnourished and weak after a perilous journey out of drought and conflict; some do not survive.
© Brendan BannonA mother and child have taken shelter on the outskirts of the Dadaab camps.
© Brendan BannonA young Somali refugee stands outside her family’s shelter made of twigs and whatever material they can find on the edge of the official Dadaab camp. Being located outside of the camp makes it more difficult to access food and adequate clean water.
© Brendan BannonA crowd of recently arrived Somali refugees wait at the official reception center in the Dadaab refugee camp. While thousands of people come to Dadaab every week from Somalia due to the food crisis, still others flee into Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and into Ethiopia in search of assistance.
© Brendan BannonA bone-thin cow passes by a shelter in the Dadaab refugee camp. The drought has killed off many people’s livestock in the Horn of Africa, leaving them with no source of food and no wealth.
© Brendan BannonSomali refugees take shelter on the outskirts of the Dadaab camp. Thousands more arrive every week and must settle at the edge of the official camp, where they are not receiving adequate assistance and are being forced to contend with delays in registration and access to food, water, and shelter.