By ALLAN KISIA
A new report shows Somalis account for 85 per cent of refugees in Kenya.
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) report, Living on the Edge, noted that Kenya hosts over 600,000 refugees – 52,000 of these, mainly Somalis, live in Nairobi and its environs.
Nearly 400,000 refugees live in Daadab and 90,000 in Kakuma, added the report. “An elusive durable solution to the political and economic roots of the displacement in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, DRC Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi has over the years eroded the generosity of the Kenyan Government,” the report stated.
The report, which focused on the livelihood status of refugees in Nairobi, added that the prominence of security concerns in asylum seeker and refugee legislation “signals the growing fatigue.”
It noted that very poor and poor households comprise up to 60 per cent of asylum seekers and refugees in Kayole, Kitengela and an average of 15 per cent in Eastleigh.
The report observed that urban asylum seekers and refugees are making a living alongside Kenyan hosts equally burdened by high crime rates, rising cost of living and poor housing infrastructure.
“These factors combine to relegate asylum seeker and refugee wellbeing on the Government’s agenda,” the study added.
Speaking during the launch of the report in Nairobi, UN refugee agency, UNHCR said it is a remarkable gesture by the Kenyan Government to host over 600,000 refugees.
Assistant representative of the agency Jacqueline Parlevliet, however, noted that refugees could also be resourceful to the Government if assisted. “ Refugees come with a lot of capacity, skills and strength, which can be used for development of the host country,” she added.