Hassan Ali has a canteen of water slung over one shoulder, in his right hand he holds a walking stick, and in his left, a blackened kettle. A scarf is draped over his head to protect him from the midday sun, he stands in thin, cracked flip-flops, and wears a blue, short-sleeved shirt over polo-shirt, with a Somali wrap-around skirt around his waist. This is all he has left.
With the sun beating over-head, he pours a little water from his kettle over his feet to wash them, ablutions before the dhuhr (noon) prayers.
Hassan is forty-two years old, and fifteen days ago he left his home in Dinsour, Somalia, his livelihood destroyed by the drought that has ravaged Somalia. Two kilometres behind him stands the Somali-Kenyan border, and ahead of him lies the Dadaab refugee complex - the largest refugee camp in the world.
This is where Hassan and his five compatriots are heading. Hassan’s wife and children left Dinsour for Dadaab several weeks previously, whilst he stayed on to try and struggle through the drought, to save his home and land. Now he is walking to join them, a small family amongst 380,000 refugees.
When he arrives, Hassan will register with the camp authorities, and try to locate his family. The camp is already several times over capacity, and it can take days to register, and weeks to receive a refugee—and therefore ration—card.
But before he can do that, Hassan has over one hundred kilometres across the hot sands ahead of him, with little respite. The few, small villages en-route are themselves suffering from the drought, and have already seen so many refugees heading to Dadaab.