Twenty-five years ago, as conflict in Somalia intensified and drought and a massive food crisis wrought havoc on southern parts of the country, thousands of people began to flee across the border to neighbouring Kenya. They escaped to what today has become the world’s largest refugee camp, currently home to some 277,000 people.
For the past 25 years, the residents of Dadaab have lived their lives in limbo. Denied the right to work, travel or integrate into Kenyan society, the camps’ refugees have been trapped, with no choice but to stay put in the vast complex in northeastern Kenya. On 6 May 2016, the Government of Kenya announced that the Dadaab camps will close, citing economic, security and environment concerns.