Letter from the Editor March 2014
Dear KANERE readers here & abroad,
The future is unpredictable at the cosmopolitan camp of Kakuma! The refugees are fed on rations, schooled, used as tool of aid promotion and warehoused! And who knows what lies ahead? But you can speculate!
In this issue, we focus on different stories: The South Sudanese crisis has massively impacted Kakuma with more than 20,000 new arrivals seeking asylum in Kenya since the start of violent conflict in Juba in December. The camp has literally changed from the makuti thatched roofs and old mud walls to a tent city.
In the months of January through March, Kakuma experienced hectic weather conditions compounded by the high temperatures, dry spell and dust storms. On many occasions, huge sandstorms have swept through the settlement, which was believed to be the root cause of fire outbreak of which more than ten incidents were reported. Kakuma 4 settlement area had the worst experiences of the dust storms in the open space.
A murder scene at Kakuma 1 has created tension between refugees and the host community when a local Turkana man who deliberately stabbed a refugee child to death was killed by a group of refugees from the Didinga community; while the makers of illicit alcoholic drinks have suffered the negative outcome of the Police raid.
From Dadaab refugee complex, the security situation continues to fluctuate. On 8 January, an improvised explosive device was detonated on the road between Dadaab and Dagahaley camps that was set to target the police vehicle which escorted the humanitarian workers to the camps. All humanitarian activities were suspended in the field following a security assessment, and normal activities resumed after a week.
Moreover, on 4 January fire broke out in Dagahaley’s MSF medical warehouse in the MSF residential compound, destroying all drugs, medical equipments and therapeutic food stock which was estimated to cover four to six months – all burnt to ashes. According to the official camp report, the cause of the fire is suspected to be an electrical fault.
For Turkana County, the calamitous drought has already aggravated the suffering of thousands of victims, where residents live a nomadic way of life with their animals. The starvation has become a double disaster for the county population, including the refugees who were affected by the cut in the food rations since 2013.
And finally, a Journalism workshop was offered by KANERE in partnership with the Arrupe Learning Center in the Camp. The workshop invited youths in the community to engage in interactive discussions and critical thinking. KANERE will aim to provide more media training opportunities to empower refugee youths to be potential storytellers and news gatherers.
The story of a Turkana wedding ceremony was an intercultural high point and enhancement of religion and diversity in old Kakuma refugee camp.
As always, we’ve missed a few spots. However, we’re dedicated to the spirit of a free press and to autonomy of critical thinking. We are asking for contributions from general readers and most specifically from the elite refugee youths in telling local stories.
We hope that you’ll enjoy reading KANERE News,
Qaabata Boru – KANERE Editorial Executive