THE MICRONUTRIENTS MALNUTRITION IN KAKUMA REFUGEE CAMP
Multistory-Garden (MSG) and Kitchen Gardens a hope to eradicate micronutrients malnutrition in Kakuma refugee camp, shunned down no longer after its inception.
Refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp, about 67000 population of the camp, need more than 5 tones of green vegetable for daily consumption. The ration distribution or food basket said to be 2100kcals, according to WFP, is only dried food.
It does not address the body needs of several vitamins and minerals; hence refugees fall short of hemoglobin’s level in the body.
2003 different NGOs in the camp GTZ, LWF, IRC and UN agencies UNHCR and WFP launched initiative, MSG. In these innovations, empty sacs are filled with soil and vegetable are planted at the sides and on the top of it. It is hoped to be successful since the sacs does not occupied a chunk space of land which refugees do not have.
The area, Kakuma camp, being an arid zone, there is a scarcity of water. MSG project hoped to rely on the spillage of water at the community water taps. Holes to gather this water were dug in various communities. ‘We are grateful to this initiative if it will work.’ A refugee elder said during an interview with Kanere journalist.
Only a small fraction of refugee buys vegetable because they get incentives and do small business. The absolute majority of refugees in the camp can eat vegetable when they exchange or sell their ration, which is not enough.
The innovations did little to achieve its primary objectives. Water scarcity put off the project just few months from the inception.
As intervention, WFP in collaboration with DSM introduced MixMe product as part of general food basket. A very small number of refugees accepted the use of it at the start but later almost less than a quarter collect it from distribution while fewer use it.
The project is meant to be acceptable and restoring means of thousands of refugee life. The communities request the government and refugee operation agencies to mobilize money and invest in the project to prevent malnutrition cases among children pregnant and other vulnerable refugees.