Story of cities #44: will Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, really close?

By Ben Rawlence

Twenty-five years after it opened, Kenya has announced its third biggest ‘city’, the Dadaab refugee complex, is to be shut down. But for many residents, this sprawling slum in an inhospitable desert is the only home they know

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Kenya’s third biggest city, after Nairobi and Mombasa, is not a city at all but a refugee camp – the world’s largest. This year the Dadaab refugee complex is 25 years old: young for a city, but old for a camp that was only ever supposed to be a temporary sanctuary.

Dadaab was built in 1992 for 90,000 refugees fleeing the war in Somalia. Today it is home to an estimated half a million people, 350,000 of them registered refugees – an urban area the size of Bristol, Zurich or New Orleans. Last week Kenya announced plans to close it by May of next year, to the unhappiness of many who live there.

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Read more here:: The Guardian – Global Development