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'The day I couldn’t find grains; I fled to Kenya', the ordeal of Somalis fleeing hunger

Shamsa is a Somali Asylum-seeker in Kenya. For years, failed rains withering her crops, killing her livestock and displacing her and her family within Somalia.   -  
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Unprecedented drought, hunger and conflict have pushed over 110,000 Somalis into Kenyan camps.

Leaving home to survive. Shamsa is one of the thousands of Somali who are seeking asylum in Kenya. For much of her adult life, she had to cope with consequences of climate shocks, killing her livestock and displacing her and her family within Somalia.

Untill it was no longer possible. 

"The day I could not find any more grains to harvest, was the day I decided to flee to Kenya," Shamsa Amin Ali recalls.

"There was nothing else to cook for my children. They would cry and cry. At some point, I thought, instead of watching my children die of hunger, I should just take my life."

About 18 months ago, she realized there was no sign of rain ever coming and decided to embark on the long and difficult journey to safety with her children to Kenya.

"I won’t go back to Somalia. The challenges continue, there is still drought. I lost my animals, the farm dried up and my house collapsed."

Overcrowded camps

As the Horn of Africa enters its sixth consecutive failed-rainy season, displacement continues to climb as millions from Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya struggle. 

UNHCR Head of Global Communications, recently met asylum-seekers at Kenya’s Dadaab camp, sounding the alarm on their dire situation.

"They are displaced as refugees here in Kenya but there are millions of others in the region who are facing this same mix, this deadly mix of climate change, conflict and displacement," Joung-Ah Ghedini-Williams said.

Dadaab camps were first established to host some 90,000 Somali refugees fleeing the civil war but it has since grown to be one of the largest refugee settlements. 

 With the overwhelming new influx, the population at Dadaab has swelled to over 320,000 people putting pressure on already overstretched resources. 

UNHCR, and its partners are struggling to provide much-needed assistance and urgently appealed for 137 million US dollars.

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