NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it is seeking $2.8 million in aid for two camps housing more than 300,000 refugees in Kenya.
The United Nations said in a release Friday that UNHCR representative Andrej Mahecic spoke in Geneva, Switzerland, regarding engineering advancements his agency has already implemented in two Kenyan refugee camps.
The refugees staying at camps in Kakuma and Dadaab are at risk for flooding as heavy rains began in the surrounding area three weeks ago.
"We fear that the looming El Nino phenomenon -- a warming in the atmosphere and ocean of the tropical Pacific region that produces floods, droughts and other weather disturbances in many regions of the world -- may now threaten the 338,000 mostly Somali refugees in the two camps, which in any case usually are flooded for three months every year," Mahecic said.
In preparation for the expected flooding, workers at the two camps have begun protecting camp locations with sandbags and trenches.
The United Nations said the requested financial aid would help buy essential supplies for the camps, while helping support the fight against any possible disease outbreaks at the overcrowded refugee sites.