In March 2014, FIRE AID member Operation Florian deployed a specialist team to the UNHCR refugee camp in Dadaab, northern Kenya situated approximately 60km from the Somalian border. The team were deployed in response to a request from the UNHCR camp management team for Operation Florian to conduct a fire needs assessment of the fire management systems and framework within the camps with regards to improving response and identifying more effective prevention and preparedness measures.
The refugee camp in Dadaab is now one of the oldest and largest refugee camps in the world with a total population of 450,000 Somalian refugees settled in 5 major camps. Over the past couple of years there have been several outbreaks of fires within the camps which have caused significant damage and increased concern as to how to prepare and respond more effectively. Two of the most recent fires which occurred in the past 6 months were the market fire in IFO1 camp which is estimated to have caused 5.5 million Kenyon shillings of damage and destroying 55 markets stalls. The second major fire occurred in the first week of January 2014 in which the MSF medical store based in Dagaharley camp was completely destroyed causing an approximate loss of 700,000 euros of medical supplies. Tragically, in most of the cases the fires were left unattended for a number of hours due to a lack of any available specialist response.
The expert team comprising of George Bryant, Steve Jordan and Joanne Musgrave – each with a wide range of overseas development experience with Operation Florian and working with other international development agencies such as the MSB Swedish Civil Contingencies Agencies – were tasked with conducting a 5 day study and review of all aspects of fire management within the camp management and structures.
Read more here