Sunday 07 August 2011
Need is huge as ShelterBox aid is delivered in Ethiopia
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is working hard to ensure that aid is delivered to the people most in need at refugee camps in Dolo Ado in Ethiopia.
1,600 ShelterBoxes are being delivered to the Dolo Ado camp in the south of Ethiopia to provide urgently needed shelter for families who have been forced to leave their homes in Somalia due to drought, famine and conflict.
SRT members, Dave Hallet (CA) and Emily LoSavio (US) are at one of the camps and have been making arrangements to ensure that the people most in need receive the help they need.
‘There are several hundred people at the camp without shelter who are living under trees,’ said Emily. ‘We went out to visit them and it was immediately clear that there is a great level of need. One woman had just given birth and was living under a small bush with her two year old child and newborn baby. She slept on cardboard boxes in an area that hardly seemed big enough to lie down in.’
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are currently over 118,000 refugees at the camps in Dolo Ado, and numbers continue to rise as families flee the devastating conditions caused by drought in Somalia.
A collaborative approach
The ShelterBox team is working closely with Save the Children, UNHCR, the Refugee Central Committee, and the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, to make sure that ShelterBox aid reaches the most vulnerable people in the camp. Child protection volunteers from Save the Children are helping ShelterBox to identify families who desperately need the vital items provided in a ShelterBox, including shelter, blankets, water purification equipment, tools and cooking equipment.
The SRT will also visit two other refugee camps at Dolo Ado to determine whether there is an unmet need for shelter and to establish the best way to deliver aid to these areas.
Mike Greenslade (AU), who is leading the SRT in Ethiopia, said: ‘The situation is desperate. Famine has now been declared in five areas in southern Somalia and it is expected to spread across all regions of the south in the coming months. There is an urgent need for humanitarian aid, particularly as the refugees are being hosted by Ethiopian communities who are themselves severely affected by drought. These ShelterBox tents will provide refugee families with a safe place to live.’