Kenya's Refugees: A Dangerous Trek for a Better Future

The famine is so severe, malnutrition is affecting 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds.

ByABC News
July 28, 2011, 4:43 PM

July 28, 2011 — -- Today, we made our way to the desolate, scorched landscape that is the final stretch of road between Somalia and the refugee camps in Kenya. It is a well-worn route that has been traveled on foot by tens of thousands of people desperate for food.

Mothers carrying their young children on the path to freedom have faced not only blistering heat, but also bandits who line the entire journey. Many have been forced to leave loved ones behind, too weak to complete the trek.

On the road today, we met a mother who had been walking for 10 days. Her children had run ahead to the tents that pepper the horizon.

Tent cities have sprouted up as far as the eye can see. They are filled with families waiting to get into the refugee camps.

The refugees now spill out into the desert and doctors have started coming to them. The doctors are noticing that its not just the babies and toddlers that are going hungry, it's the older children, too. The famine is so severe, malnutrition is affecting 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds.

If they can just get the nutrients they need, most would be able to make a quick recovery.

Inside a maternity ward, a mother who gave birth to her baby on the road sat with her newborn. She said other mothers who were making the long journey saw her go into labor and helped deliver the baby girl.

That mother and her newborn were doing well at the refugee camp. There were likely thousands more coming after them, families making a dangerous trek not only to find food but to find a future for their children.

See What David Muir Is Seeing in the Dadaab Refugee Camp

Follow David Muir reporting on Twitter @DavidMuirABC