Crisis in Kenya: Land, displacement and the search for ‘durable solutions’

Crisis in Kenya: Land, displacement and the search for ‘durable solutions’


Key messages

– Current post-election displacement in Kenya is not a new phenomenon but a recurring trend linked to unresolved land grievances, in a context of poor governance and socio-economic insecurity. This is of concern to humanitarians as the failure to understand the dynamics involved and the implications for recovery can exacerbate tensions and jeopardise attempts to resolve the crisis.

– Humanitarians need to engage with land specialists to ensure that their programming not only avoids exacerbating tensions, but is also consistent with efforts to address the structural causes of conflict.

– Return, relocation and local integration processes should not be promoted as durable solutions in the absence of serious attempts to resolve land-related grievances. If durable solutions are to be found, programmes must take account of those who were forced to move in earlier waves of displacement.

– The government’s urgency in encouraging IDPs to return despite continued political uncertainty and insecurity raises clear protection concerns. This includes both physical security and wider issues to do with rights, community reconciliation and sustainable access to the means of subsistence.

– In the absence of political progress and stability, urbanisation is likely to accelerate as displaced people seek alternative livelihoods.

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OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 17, 24 – 30 Apr 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 17, 24 – 30 Apr 2008


HIGHLIGHTS

– Leaders tour Rift Valley Province to preach peace and promote reconciliation Talks on institutional reforms under Agenda Four resume

– 11,953 IDPs in Turkana District need more assistance

– Government approves transitional shelter kit

– UN appeals for $17 million for new arrivals from Somalia

I. General Overview

During their three-day tour of Rift Valley Province, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga encouraged communities to reconcile so that displaced people could return home and farm to alleviate the looming food crisis. MPs from Rift Valley province have put forward their own pre-conditions for the resettlement and return of IDPs which are: 1) for suspects arrested for participating in the post-election to be released, 2) for those displaced from Mau Summit during President Kibaki.s first term to be resettled and 3) the termination of the military operation in Mount Elgon. They feel all of these actions are unfairly targeting the wider Kalenjin community. Nevertheless, the visit is seen as a positive step as it shows the issue of return and resettlement is high on the political agenda.

Mediated talks on long-term constitutional, institutional and legal reforms, known as Agenda Four, resumed. The reforms aim to resolve the underlying causes of Kenya.s political crisis. A Commission of Inquiry on Post-Election Violence will be officially established on 1 May, chaired by Kenyan Court of Appeal Judge Philip Waki. A draft bill to establish a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission is being finalized. The commission will investigate human rights violations, economic crimes, including corruption and historical land injustices, committed since independence.

The chairman and the treasurer of the outlawed Mungiki sect were shot dead on 28 April. Analysts believe that the sect is experiencing a power struggle over its leadership. As a result of these recent killings, the sect cancelled its first planned reconciliatory meeting with church and government officials.

Floods have displaced at least 38 families in Homa Bay and Nyando districts in Nyanza Province. The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) is responding with blankets, mosquito nets, food, aquatabs, cholera kits, shelter materials and medical treatment.

The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national and international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations.

II. Humanitarian Situation Continue reading

UNHCR organizes go-and-see visits for displaced Kenyans

UNHCR organizes go-and-see visits for displaced Kenyans


NYAKINYUA, Kenya, May 7 (UNHCR) – Thirty displaced Kenyans have paid a day-long visit to the Rift Valley Province villages they fled earlier this year, but left for their sanctuaries undecided about whether or not to return permanently. Some were shocked to see the devastation wreaked on their property.

The UN refugee agency organized the ‘go-and-see’ visits on Tuesday to Nyakinyua and Timboroa, setting out from the provincial capital of Nakuru in western Kenya. The visits, requested by the 30 internally displaced people (IDP) taking part, came a day after the government launched an IDP resettlement programme dubbed ‘Operation Rudi Nyumbani’ (Operation Return Home).

The group of 15 IDPs who visited Nyakinyua – all from the same ethnic group – were warmly welcomed by their neighbours from a rival ethnic group, some of whom had turned on them when violence broke out after last December’s presidential election. The inter-ethnic violence left some 1,200 people dead and 350,000 homeless – 90 percent of them in the Rift Valley. Continue reading

Kenya: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #13 (FY 2008)

Kenya: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #13 (FY 2008)


U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)

Note: The last fact sheet was dated April 23, 2008.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

– According to USAID/OFDA staff, on May 5, the Government of Kenya (GOK) launched an initiative in Rift Valley Province to facilitate the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to pre-crisis lands. USAID/OFDA staff report that IDP returns appear to be voluntary and note no evidence of forced returns to date. However, USAID/OFDA staff report concern regarding the sustainability of recent returns in some areas and the lack of GOK coordination with the humanitarian community prior to the implementation of the return operation.

– On May 2, the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) transitioned to an early recovery team, following improvements in Kenya’s political environment and stabilized humanitarian conditions in IDP camps and host communities. The demobilization of the USAID/DART reflects the shift from an acute emergency to early recovery in Kenya following post-election violence.

– USAID/OFDA will maintain a presence in Kenya to monitor the humanitarian situation; oversee USAID/OFDA-funded relief, early recovery, and disaster risk reduction programs; and facilitate coordination and information sharing regarding response and early recovery efforts.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
SOURCE
Conflict-Affected Population at Risk of Poverty(1)
2,000,000
The World Bank – January 18, 2008
Estimated IDPs in camps and centers
158,891
KRCS(2) – May 2, 2008
Estimated IDPs within host communities
196,000
NDOC(3) – March 26, 2008
Deaths(4)
1,020
NDOC – April 8, 2008
Kenyan Refugees in Uganda
2,000
UNHCR(5) – April 18, 2008

FY 2008 HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE

USAID/OFDA Assistance to Kenya: $9,223,232
USAID/FFP(6) Assistance to Kenya: $39,719,000
State/PRM(7) Assistance to Kenya: $10,843,105
Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Kenya: $59,785,337

CURRENT SITUATION Continue reading

KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers

KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
The cost of food is rising, placing a disproportionate burden on the poor who spend most of their income on consumables

NAIROBI, 6 May 2008 (IRIN) – Small farmers and agricultural enterprises are the main beneficiaries of a financing partnership launched on 6 May to help them break out of poverty and commercialise farming.

“We must insulate our people from the indignity of hunger and starvation,” James Mwangi, the chief executive officer of Equity Bank, one of the partners in the deal, said in Nairobi at the launch of “Kilimo Biashara” (Commercialising Farming).

According to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the partnership represents an innovative solution to the farmers’ credit crunch, with the aim of boosting food security and creating jobs in rural areas.

AGRA, with Equity Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, signed an agreement for a loan facility of US$50 million (Ksh3 billion) to speed up financing for at least 2.5 million farmers and 15,000 agricultural enterprises across the country.

The loan facility will operate against a “cash guarantee fund” from AGRA and IFAD to reduce part of the risk of lending by Equity Bank, AGRA said. Continue reading