Kenneth Jura | Kenya
Imagine of a scenario where your neighbor receives aid from the government yet you do not yet you share the same religion, customs and you have virtually all similarities albeit that you are separated by two countries. How well thereafter would you relate to this neighbor?
This is the situation of Kenyan residents living in Dadaab refugee areas. It is indeed unfortunate that after the fall of Major General Siad Barre Somalia has never felt the petals of peace thus its people sought refuge in Kenya.
|Aerial view of Dadaab refuge camp courtesy of MSF|
Dadaab area is semi arid and the locals are not spared either from the misgivings of Mother Nature in the region. Perennial drought, scorching sun, lonely standing shrubs characterize the landscape not to mention that the area hosts the biggest refugee camp in the world.
Refugees in these camps get aid (food, clothing and shelter) from the international non-governmental organizations that locals equally need but regrettably they are not beneficiaries of such “niceties” as they (NGOs) insist that they ought to be catered for by the government.
This state of affairs has led to a wave of criminal activities pitting the locals against the refugees as more and more refugees arrived in the area stretching the already grim situation of social amenities like water. An urgent remedy was thus needed to avert a crisis where a refugee has run for safety only to be otherwise.
Luckily, the Government through the Ministry of State for Special Programmes and The Federal Government of Germany through the GIZ heard the locals’ plea and a project known as “Stabilising host community livelihoods and enhancing peaceful conflict management in the area around Dadaab Refugee camps” was initiated.
The main objective of the project will be;
§ To support the development and rehabilitation of economic and social infrastructure
§ To increase production and diversification of agricultural produce
§ To better income-generating opportunities such as marketing of agricultural and livestock products.
§ To strengthen capacity for dialogue and non-violent conflict management
The project will run till August 2014 funded at a total cost of Ksh 276,822,000 benefitting over 50 families in Garissa and Wajir districts.