Hygiene proves major challenge at new camp

Hygiene proves major challenge at new camp

Displaced people in Naivasha are slowly adjusting to living in tents despite numerous problems in a new camp they were moved to last week. More than 2,000 displaced people have been moved from two camps in Naivasha Town to the newly rehabilitated Kedong camp on South Lake Road, about eight kilometres from the town’s centre. Naivasha is currently holding more than 4,000 people, who were victims of post-poll violence that took an ethnic angle and saw at least 30 people hacked and burnt to death in the area. But inadequate water supply and poor sanitation are the major problems haunting the internal displaced. At Kedong, there are 25 toilets and 35 bathrooms serving more than 2,300 people.
Director of Medical Services, Dr James Nyikal, while visiting the camp last week, described the sanitation facilities as a challenge.

“A lot needs to done, but what we have in the camp at the moment is adequate,” he said.

He asked medical personnel to vaccinate all children aged below five years to prevent them from contracting disease in the crowded camp.

A clinic would also be set up at Kedong camp to give the displaced people access to health care. But the greatest challenge still remains provision of clean water.

At Kedong, only 20,000 litres instead of the 40,000 required, are available.

The water is pumped from a bore-hole sunk by some of the flower farms where most of the victims work.

At the stadium camp, which plays host to 1,500 people, water is supplied by Army personnel using tankers. Piped water from the nearby Kenya Prisons is also available.

“The Army has done a lot in terms of providing water to the displaced persons,” said Job Nzuma, a relief coordinator.

There is a ray of hope at the two camps though. A Christian charity, New Life International, has put up a purification system to ensure the water is free of germs.

Mr Jared Onserio, the charity’s country director, says four purifier machines have been set up in different camps at an estimated cost of Sh5 million.

According to health experts, preventable diseases like malaria, typhoid, dysentery, diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases are contributing to the high child mortality rate.
Daily Nation


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