Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Letter from the Editor December 2014

Posted in Opinion, Uncategorized by KANERE on December 25, 2014

It’s been a couple of months since our last edition, but we are back to reporting with a few but critical items of coverage on Kakuma.

Kakuma has had very negative happenings in the recent months and there’s been no easy solutions to such. It was devastating, it was sad when communal violence erupted like a volcano between the ethnic communities, mainly the Dinkas and Nuers of South Sudan, before escalating to other nationalities. It was ugly and unprecedented killings that took place in this camp. More than twenty people were killed, hundreds injured and thousands displaced. We have included an in-depth story that features the murders and unfolding of the violence.

It seems to be the nature of Kakuma to be a place which is full of problems! The environmental problem is added to manmade problems, to cause underlying poverty made worse by other natural phenomena. On Friday, 21 November, at least three refugees died as a result of floods in the camp. The heavy downpour destroyed a dozen houses made of loose soil exposing refugees to hazardous weather conditions, while some refugees who died in the flood were not been identified.

There has been a cut in rations for nearly two months now. It is a nightmare for thousands of the camp residents who have no other option for staying alive. It’s irrational, when you warehouse people for decades, controlling their movements and nurturing them to fully depend on aid. And yet eventually, as if you’re wakened from a deep sleep you happen not to have any food in the store for them! Refugees view the ongoing hunger as a gross failure of accountability in providing food as a basic human right that every human being is entitled to by UN – World Food Program.

Quite simply, this is the impact of warehousing! There are speculations that the next catastrophe would be the lack of life saving drugs in the refugee hospital. Anyone could guess what would happen in such a scenario! Yet, every year, the camp has received unknown billions of aid dollars that were never disclosed to the beneficiaries. There are many theories about the game of the aid industry both from the refugees and the international community, because the principles on paper contradict the facts and reality on refugee protection on the ground.

In spite of less emphasis than usual, the sixteen days of gender activism were ‘celebrated’ by several humanitarian NGOs in supporting the campaigns to shed light on gender based violence and children’s rights. In commemoration of these major days that were observed internationally, a story on the refugees living with disability, with their first hand views is included in this edition.

As we would strive hard to report in the new year, we are asking our readers to take action on each story by creating publicity on the refugees’ situation and supporting the work of KANERE from within the camp.

We are looking forward to your comments, suggestions and article contribution to a free press. We would like to consider well balanced, informative stories with value on refugee affairs.

KANERE’s editorial would like to wish you happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

Qaabata Boru

The editor


Quotes of the Month October-December 2014 edition

Posted in Uncategorized by KANERE on December 25, 2014

“I doubt whether any humanitarian NGOs were able to document the killings that took place. We lost six refugees killed and thousands displaced from the Great Lakes community,”

                 – a Congolese humanitarian aid worker told Kanere/ “Violence in Kakuma Kills 20”

“This initiative aims at supporting the spontaneous return movement we have observed since 2012 and at better targeting the assistance needed by those opting to return to their places of origins to rebuild their lives,”

                 – Raouf Mazou, Representative of UNHCR Kenya/ “Repatriation of Somali Refugees”

“As camp refugees we are entirely depending on the rations for survival, now that it’s cut, then refugees are at risk of starvation,”

                 – A refugee camp leader told Kanere/ “WFP to cut food rations”

“We are not seen as useful members of the communities, but we are people with brain and soul,”

– Abdinasir Mohammed, chairperson of the disabled group in Kakuma 1/ “International Day of Persons with Disability”

“Earlier on, it was with luck that a group of six administration police officers came to rescue the people but they were outnumbered,”

– Abdiweli Osman, a Somali refugee/ “Passengers Taken Hostage at Kainuk, Turkana”

“I’ve personally visited the ‘Hongkong’ police post over the rape case but police didn’t act responsively,”

– a Nuer refugee leader in Kakuma 1 told KANERE/ “Violence in Kakuma Kills 20”

“As a result of insufficient funding, the WFP has been forced to reduce food rations for over half a million refugees living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps by 50 percent,”

                 – Challiss McDonough, WFP’s regional spokeswoman/ ” WFP to cut food rations”

“Kakuma is not a good place for anyone to live but the disabled people have lost hopes,”

– says 34 years old Mukishimana, a disabled person from North Kivu, Congo/ “International Day of Persons with Disability”

“We are not sure of where to go and what we are required to do. I don’t know what amount of support is available for my family!”

– Ali Ibrahim Mohamed from Dadaab’s Ifo 2 camp/ “Repatriation of Somali Refugees”

“In the first week of violence at least 10 refugees were killed from South Sudan, the situation worsened in the second week and we lost 11 refugees from different nationalities,”

– a leader from the Dinka community told Kanere in an interview/ “Violence in Kakuma Kills 20”

Violence in Kakuma Kills 20

Fighting erupted in Kakuma Refugee Camp killing at least 20 people and injuring hundreds. (more…)

WFP to Cut Food Rations

Posted in Human Rights, Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on December 25, 2014

World Food Programme to cut food rations for Kenyan refugees by half, affecting over 500,000 camp residents. (more…)

Passengers taken hostage at Kainak, Turkana

Posted in Human Rights, Kakuma Town and Kenya, News Updates by KANERE on December 25, 2014

More than 700 people including a dozen refugees from Kakuma refugee camp were among those held hostage. (more…)

International Day of Persons with Disability

Posted in Human Rights, Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on December 25, 2014

In Kakuma refugee camp the International Day of Persons Living with Disability is observed, falling within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. (more…)

Repatriation of Somali Refugees

Posted in Humanitarian Services, Kakuma Town and Kenya, News Updates by KANERE on December 25, 2014

94 returnees of Somali origin were headed home after decades of exile in the world’s largest refugee camp. (more…)

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The Stove of Scandals

Posted in Arts, Uncategorized by KANERE on December 25, 2014

A Poem By A. Kuot