Letter from the Editor December 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!