World Refugee Day; Life in the camp

By Ann Wambui

Refugees were streaming in to the graduation square of the University of Nairobi as early as 9am on June 20, to commemorate World Refugee Day to commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees at the same time raising public awareness of this menace.

Hundreds of refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda among others availed themselves to share their plights and listen to the measures that are so far being taken by the Kenyan government and humanitarian organisations to help settle, improve and repatriate evacuees.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday released report of statistics, state, plans and projections of 2018. This report states a clean $3billion (KSH392million) to facilitate resettlement and day-to-day running of the camps in Kenya; Dada, Kakuma and the urban areas refugee camp.

According to UNHCR data, majority of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya originate from Somali (58.2%) and South Sudanese (22.9%), DRC (7.3%) and Ethiopia (5.7%) which approximately totals to 486,000 as of January 2018. This data that has been acquired through collaborative efforts with UNHCR and Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS), former Department for Refugees Affairs for purposes of record keeping and monitoring entries of refugee and establishing clear logistics.

68.5 million refugees worldwide 3 million have found refuge here in IGAD region with Kenya leading in asylum providers in the world.” UNHCR Representative of Kenya Raouf Mazou.

In Dadaab, there are 73,394 learners enrolled in ECD, primary and secondary schools. This includes 1,761 students accessing primary and secondary education through the Accelerated Education Programme (AEP). In Kakuma, UNHCR has helped reserve 10% of school spaces for children from the host community and support community identified host community projects including education infrastructure every year.

Another estimated 1,500 students graduate from the 11 secondary schools supported by UNHCR in both Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps each year to provide a forum for children to get the education that other children receive.

I am grateful to all organisations supporting refugees, children as well to have a chance to obtain education,” Charles Ochero Osborn Refugee speaker.

So far the government has contributed majorly in the refugee situation in the country for not closing down the Daadab camp as initially directed on July 6 2016. This move to keep the camp open and functional has helped provide a safe haven for those going into exile.

“The continued engagement of the international community in ensuring life saving and protection and assistance to the population s well as support efforts to restore peace in their country remains crucial.” Mr Mazou.



Ann Wambui is a Reporter and Writer at Mtoto News

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