Kenya forms committee to resolve refugee crisis

Winama Silvane is a Burundian with five children, she was displaced from her house in the Kakuma refugee camp after skirmishes rocked the camp, majority of refugees from Burundi, Rwanda and Congo were forced out of the refugee camp. [File, Standard]

An Intergovernmental Steering Committee has been formed to develop Kenya's Marshall Plan for refugees.

The committee, which is coordinated by Cabinet Secretary for Interior Kithure Kindiki, is expected to come up with structures and plans to solve the refugee crisis in the country and reduce over-reliance on humanitarian aid.

Speaking at Villa Rosa, Nairobi, Immigration Permanent Secretary Julius Bitok on Tuesday, May 9 said that the committee will come up with a framework which will take a development-oriented approach that will empower refugees to be self-reliant.

"The committee will aim at enhancing access to effective registration, documentation, basic services such as education, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), energy, jobs and livelihoods through the integrated approach," PS Bitok said.

The integrated approach will also ease pressure on the host committee by making them direct beneficiaries of all development programmes in refugee hosting areas.

Currently, there is increasing tension and conflict due to competition for limited resources between the host communities and refugees.

Security-wise, the government has said that it will foresee a smooth transition into integrated settlement and maintain law and order in refugee settlements.

Interior Permanent Secretary Raymond Omollo, who was also present, said the government is investing in more security installations around the camps and advancement of community policing interventions as a way of protecting the refugees.

"The planned integrated approach will also help us prevent acts of terrorism because we are able to empower the host communities in terms of knowing who are potential troublemakers. We will heighten border surveillance, asylum and refugee screening and enforcement of law and order in refugee settlement areas," said Omollo.