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Holl-Holl - a new camp intended for Somali refugees

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Holl-Holl - a new camp intended for Somali refugees

UNHCR Djibouti, 07 Dec 2012

Like two other refugee locations in Djibouti, Holl-Holl was an old camp that was closed in the mid-2000s, as a consequence of massive repatriations to Ethiopia and to the breakaway territory of Somaliland where the security situation has relatively improved during the last decade. Over the last 6 years, Ali Addeh Addeh was the only remaining refugee camp in Djibouti and it was initially designed for a caseload of less than 7,000 refugees. Ali Addeh was opened in 1991 to receive Somali refugees who fled civilian crisis resulting from the fall of Siad Barre’s regime and later on, it had also hosted Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees. To date, the camp counts 17,060 refugees, including 16,396 Somalis, 528 Ethiopians and 134 Eritreans while the total number of Somali refugees registered in the country amounts 18,022.

As Ali Addeh refugee camp has largely exceeded its capacity, the Government of Djibouti allowed in early 2011 re-opening Holl-Holl camp located in Ali Sabieh region at nearly 50 km South of Djibouti-ville. The new camp welcomed its first refugees on 04 June 2012. It was planned to accommodate only refugees who, continuously, come from South/Centre Somalia where fighting and tensions persist despite the recent progress made on the peace process timetable. As of 30 October 2012, the camp counts a total of 1,118 refugees comprising new arrivals and relocated refugees from Ali.

The preparations for the opening of Holl-Holl camp started in July 2011. UNHCR rehabilitated and expanded former infrastructures including the borehole, water tanks, WFP’s warehouse for food and non-food items storage. UNHCR also constructed new community infrastructures, namely, a health center, primary school, community latrines as well as new offices for Implementing Partners and the camp administration. The rehabilitation of Holl-Holl camp cost around US $ 2,000,000.

Lasting need of safe drinking water

In Djibouti, the camp population capacity is determined taking into consideration availabilities in groundwater. The semi-arid country in the Horn of Africa faces continuous years of drought triggering massive loss in livestock and severely hampering food security. Over the last few years, it could barely be made available five (05) liters of water for one refugee per day in Ali Addeh camp while UNHCR standards recommend a minimum of 20 liters. Thanks to the High Commissioner’s special funds which have permitted the construction of additional boreholes, wells and water tanks, refugees could receive 13 liters each per day. The functioning of Holl-Holl camp could increase this quantity by decongesting Ali Addeh camp if the construction of new boreholes and connection in an articulate network were properly achieved. For the moment, the new camp may not be capable of receiving substantial additional groups of refugees due to limited availability in water production. From time to time, refugee accommodation areas and community infrastructures show important need of water. UNHCR and its partners attempt to fill the gap through water trucking.

Since the opening of Holl-Holl camp, UNHCR and its partners deliver basic assistance services such as food distribution, health, nutrition, sanitation and community services. On Education, the first school year officially started on 11 September 2012 with around 310 pupils from grade 1 to grade 6.