Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Letter from the editors

Posted in Letter from the Editor by KANERE on July 31, 2019

Dear KANERE readers,

Welcome to our latest edition. We have had a long stretch without a new publication, largely due to the lack of funding for our operations, as well as interruptions while some staff and volunteers were moving from the camp to urban areas of Kenya or out of the region. However, our dedicated team in Kakuma – with the support of founding members abroad – will continue to work toward making KANERE a source of quality journalism.

Many of our stories are pertinent to various stakeholders in Kakuma, including refugees, the international community, and the humanitarian organizations that deliver aid. However, some of the stories will primarily be of interest to our audiences who live or have lived in the camp.

On July 10, armed conflict between Somali refugees and members of the host community resulted in at least three injuries, including that of a child. Our story includes analysis of the ways that such conflicts escalate and the repercussions for businesses and humanitarian operation in the camp.

In April, the Government of Kenya undertook a biometric registration process of all residents of the country in an attempt to prevent impersonation and fraud, authenticate personal data, and enhance access to government services. However, the programme has been criticized by citizens and right groups for publicizing citizens’ private information in violation of the constitution. A few months later, neither UNHCR nor the government’s Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) has commented on the ongoing biometric registrations of refugees in Kakuma. This silence has left many camp residents feeling uninformed.

This edition also includes articles covering an array of other issues pertinent to those living in Kakuma, including water shortages, a new mobile application designed for camp residents, and the lack of support for shelter maintenance and safety inspections. As is often the case, a number of the stories are distressing: we cover a wave of suicides by women in Kakuma, the murder and mutilation of a child in an outlying area of the camp, and the unsolved case of a bodaboda (motorbike) driver from Burundi whose murder remains a mystery to the community.

In an effort to use KANERE as a forum for perspectives from the refugee and host communities, we have included in this edition perspectives solicited from residents about Kalobeyei, a new site of refugee warehousing that has been described as an “integrated settlement”. We present a range of viewpoints on the prospects for integration at this site, some optimistic and others critical. Looking ahead, there is some disagreement on whether Kalobeyei should be called a new settlement or merely an extension of the Kakuma camps, an issue that will be discussed in our next edition.

As always, we thank all KANERE members and supporters for supporting the continuation of KANERE’s vital work disseminating up-to-date information and amplifying advocacy efforts by and for refugees. We strive to maintain a fair editorial decision emphasizing openness and integrity, and we continue to welcome submissions of timely stories and critical opinions to be considered for publication.

We also welcome commentary from camp residents, members of the host community, and those working within the humanitarian organizations to provide services to the warehoused populations. To contact our editorial team at KANERE, drop us an email at Kakuma.news@gmail.com


Qaabata Boru, Elias Lemma & G. Ibrahim
KANERE Editorial Team

Violent Robbery Interrupts Peace in Kakuma One

By KANERE News Desk, July 2019

At least three refugees sustained gunshot wounds while property of unknown value was stolen by armed night-time attackers  (more…)

Female refugees turn to Suicide and drug to escape agonizing camp life

By Qaabata Boru – kakuma.news@gmail.com, July 2019

Decreases in the number of resettlement places available and a cut in food rations have led to growing levels of suicide, drug abuse and alcoholism as a coping mechanism among female refugees in Kakuma refugee camp, northwest Kenya, a home for more than 88,000 women from different East and central African countries, who’ve escaped war or civil strife. (more…)

Community Talking Point: Integration and Freedom of Movement

By KANERE staff reporter, May 2019

What do you think about the refugees integration and the freedom of movement? The Refugee Affairs secretariat (RAS), the main body responsible for refugees in Kenya, in conjunction with UNHCR, Refugee Consortiumof Kenya (RCK), and other implementing agencies held a one-day meeting with refugees on May 12th to discuss integration in Kalobeyei.


Biometric Registration faces strong religious resistance in Kakuma

By Ibrahim with Qaabata – KANERE Staff writers April 2019

With the aim of creating a centralized database of everyone residing in Kenya, including foreigners and refugees, the government launched a nationwide bio-metric registration that includes refugee camps. (more…)


Posted in Human Rights, News Updates, Peace and Security by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By KANERE staff writer, January 2019

A motorbike driver was killed on January 14th 2019, along the paths that connect Kalobeyei Settlement and Kakuma four area. The deceased was identified as Adelin Nkeshimana, a Burundian national and a refugee registered under UNHCR protection. He had been living in Kakuma refugee camp – in Kakuma 3, Zone 1, Block 6 since 2016 when he arrived in Kakuma after escaping violence in his home country. (more…)

Community App Built for Kakuma and Kalobeyei Refugees

Posted in Education, Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By KANERE staff writer July 2019

Refugees in Kakuma and Kalobeyei will soon have access to a new smartphone application designed to increase access to critical information despite high data costs and poor network coverage. RELAY is a community app developed by REFUNITE, an NGO that is best known for its use of phone technologies to reunite families separated through forced displacement. (more…)

Powerful Winds Demolish House, Kills a Child

Posted in Human Rights, News Updates by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By Baluu Wol Makuach, KANERE Reporter, March 2019

During heavy winds, a house in Kakuma 1, Zone 4, Block 6 collapsed, killing a two-year old boy identified as Daniel Deng Majok and causing serious injuries to another young baby who were playing outside the house. (more…)

Child found dead with missing body parts

Posted in Human Rights, News Updates, Peace and Security by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By KANERE staff writer, February 2019

A shocking murder occurred at Kakuma Four (near Zone 1, Block 9), where a 3-year-old (approximate) male of unknown nationality was found dead and lying on the ground in the bush.  (more…)

Water Shortage in Kakuma Camp

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By KANERE Staff writer, April 2019

The Kakuma refugee camp has been hit by a shortage of water since January, forcing camp residents to wake in the middle of the night to queue with their jerricansat community water taps for morning collection. Although water shortages have become the norm during dry seasons, the current shortage is worse than usual. (more…)

Gang Rape Reported in Kalobeyei Settlement

By KANERE staff writer, February 2019

A South Sudanese woman was allegedly raped in her house in Kalobeyei settlement on the night of February 3rd, 2019 at 1:00am when two unknown attackers armed with crude weapons entered the house. They had followed the woman as she returned from her relatives’ house, where she had been visiting and watching television. (more…)

I am not a Failure

Posted in Arts by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By Okelo Sejo KANERE contributor, April 2019

With all due respect
Am not a failure
Failure is an event
Not a person in fact
To be precise its a line
Of graduation right below pass
And its not a virtue (more…)