Flooding endangers LGBTI Ugandan refugees in Kenya

LGBTI Ugandan refugees at Kakuma Camp in Kenya are coping with the life-threatening after-effects of recent floods. As if they didn’t already have enough problems — short on food, surrounded by tens of thousands of homophobic refugees, and lacking any immediate hope of reaching asylum in a hospitable country.

LGBTI refugee in Kakuma Camp prepares to enter his flooded shelter. (Photo courtesy of Moses Mbazira)
LGBTI refugee in Kakuma Camp prepares to enter his flooded shelter. (Photo courtesy of Moses Mbazira)

“The recent flooding left half of our members homeless or in danger, in shelters at risk of caving in,” said Moses Mbazira, one of the LGBTI refugee group’s leaders. He added on May 3:

We have members who have contracted diseases due to this tragedy and we intend to provide them with proper medical care. …

  • 3 homes beyond disrepair, where we need to build new ones
  • 31 houses in critical condition that can hardly survive the next storm, which need repair before long.
  • 4 toilets caved in. We immediately need new ones, this is terribly affecting our PHC [primary health care].
  • Almost every single member needs a supplement of food to their monthly rations and the 15 members in a critical situation that lost all they had left.
  • Members ailing with malaria and others suffering several waterborne diseases need attention.

Allies are helping them through a GoFundMe page set up by supporter Connell O’Donovan.

O’Donovan wrote:

There are over 200 LGBTI refugees in the United Nations’ Kakuma Camp, northwestern Kenya, who live in deplorable conditions, and are not receiving the food, medicine, goods, and services they need, and their needs are typically ignored by the camp’s UN administration. Their enclave within the larger camp is in the worst location, near a river, so when it rains, they get flooded out, and they also have to deal with snakes, mosquitoes, and malaria.

Through Facebook, I, Connell O’Donovan, am in daily contact with one of the Queer leaders there, Moses Mbazira, who is an extremely trustworthy, competent, and compassionate young man.

Another organization in Tokyo, Japan is helping to raise funds for the LGBT Kakuma refugees, and Moses is meticulous in posting snapshots of monies received, monies spent, photos of inventories, of pallets of goods he purchases, and then how it is equally distributed among the refugees there. …

Every penny I receive will be forwarded to Moses at Kakuma Camp, for him to decide how best to spend it, whether on food, clothing, or medicine/medical services. Please help by giving what you can to ensure that our sisters and brothers in the Kakuma Camp are not forgotten!

Flooding in the LGBTI section of Kakuma Camp in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Moses Mbazira)
Flooding in the LGBTI section of Kakuma Camp in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Moses Mbazira)
LGBTI refugee in Kakuma Camp wades into his flooded shelter to retrieve household items. (Photo courtesy of Moses Mbazira)
LGBTI refugee in Kakuma Camp wades into his flooded shelter to retrieve household items. (Photo courtesy of Moses Mbazira)

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