RI team in Kenya to help Somalian famine refugees

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - A team of Indonesian humanitarian workers from ACT (Quick Response Action) is currently in Kenya to help Somalian famine refugees staying in a camp at Dadaab near the border with Somalia.

Imam Akbari, the team leader, in a message to ANTARA News on Thursday said the team consisting of two doctors and two logistics volunteers would set up a base camp in Garissa, the capital of the North Eastern Province of Kenya.

The team was in Nairobi on Saturday (Aug 20) and planning to proceed to Mogadishu, Somalia, after completing its mission in refugee camp at Dadaab, he said.

The Dadaab refugee camp was controlled by Kenya`s Immigration Ministry and UNHCR and located in North Eastern Province, an area in northeastern Kenya, that was the driest and poorest in Kenya, Imam said.

The majority of the people living in Dadaab was Muslim, and according to the Kenyan Red Cross, there were about four million poor Kenyan people in the area.

In Garissa, the team`s base camp was facilitated by Sulaiman, a local leader who had studied at UIN Jakarta. "This is evidence that Somalia, Kenya and Africa are our close relatives," said Imam.

Based on data obtained by the ACT team, the number of Somali refugees in Dadaab camp reaches 400,000, with quite high migration rate at 1200-1500 people per day.

"To reach Dadaab, Somali refugees have to walk a distance of 100 km," Imam said.

Indonesia ACT Team for Somalia is a humanitarian team dispatched by the Indonesian Committee for Solidarity Somalia (KISS).

KISS was initiated by the Quick Response Action (ACT) and declared Friday (Aug 19) in Masjid Agung Al Azhar, Jakarta as Indonesia`s response to the famine in Somalia.

Imam Akbari said his team was the first humanitarian group dispatched by KISS.

"We will work from the current emergency phase up to the recovery phase," he said.