Kenya’s Turkana County on Saturday donated land to cater for expansion of Kakuma refugee camp that has hosted refugees mainly from South Sudan for two decades.
The donation of land was a culmination of year-long consultations between Turkana county government and multilateral agencies to find durable solution to congestion at Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya.
Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok said during the World Refugees Day on Saturday that transfer of the new land to Kakuma Refugee camp had been completed.
“We request the development partners to initiate projects that will cater for the needs of Turkana residents and refugees,” he said.
According to Nanok, the portion of land donated by the county government will be used to set up a new refugee camp.
Statistics from the UN refugees agency show that Kakuma’s population has risen from 100,000 to 180,000 people in a short span. The camp was previously meant to host 90,000 refugees.
And environmental degradation fuelled by over-reliance on wood fuel, poor sanitation and insecurity are some of the challenges refugees have to contend with on a daily basis.
Nanok suggested the new camp should be meticulously planned to address the deteriorating environmental hygiene that has exposed refugees to communicable diseases. The UNHCR Kenya representative Raouf Mazou noted the new camp will be unique and will enhance robust interactions among refugees and host community, adding that it will boost local economy through commerce, exchange of skills and knowledge.
Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security, Joseph Nkaissery has renewed an appeal to the international community to support Kenya’ s efforts to repatriate Somalia refugees. He said the government will streamline the management of refugees to weed out criminal elements. Enditem