A drought is directly affecting as many as 11 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, causing them to flee their lands in search of water and food, according to the United Nations.
In addition to this humanitarian disaster, which is the worst drought Africa has seen in 60 years, officials fear the Somali Islamic militant group, Al Shabaab, will try to enter Kenya under the disguise of Somali refugees during this period of chaos.
The refugees leave their homes when they are hungry and desperate and thenn they face encounters with dangerous animals, criminals, Islamic rebels and a lack of basic nourishment for days. As a result of the harrowing journey, many of the Somali refugees arrive in Kenya near death.
The refugees who survive this trek arrive at Dadaab, an enormous refugee camp in northern Kenya, to find a scarcity of materials. Dadaab is home to some 360,000 other refugees all seeking some type of aid. The compound is already overpacked and simply cannot house all refugees.
The U.N. built a new refugee facility, Camp Ifo-II. The camp has remained empty for a year because of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga's fears that it would encourage Al Shabaab rebels to enter, pretending to be refugees. However, the current drought is so severe that Odinga has agreed to open the Ifo-II camp to refugees and hope for the best in its safety from militants.
The U.N. has requested $1.6 billion in aid for the refugees but so far it has only received half that amount. As of now, there is no end in sight to East Africa's drought and violence.