Jul 8, 2011


Kenya could be home to well over 400,000 refugees, a ratio of almost 1:100 to its total population. This is not easy for a country with an estimated per capita of $ 1600 albeit most of the funding is done by developed nations through UN agencies. It’s encouraging though that the government of Kenya continues to commit itself to protection of refugees under the Refugees Act 2006.

Recent media reports put the figures in Dadaab refugee camp at approximately 350,000 with an influx of about 1,000 refugees daily. It’s amazing how UNHCR copes with this population in one camp, the reason why the government ought to always accord it with all the support it needs.

The host communities in Garissa and Turkana districts where the refugee camps are based however deserve the biggest applaud. For a long time, refugees have coexisted with these communities and shared scarce resources available within their semi arid regions. This is unique and commendable considering that some groups in Kenya continue being opposed to the resettlement of internally displaced persons in their constituencies.

Being a refugee is surely not a thing to be proud of, much less in your own country. In this regard all refugees need to be empathized with even as we hope that our government will find a permanent solution to its internally displaced refugees.


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