OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 21, 21-27 May 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 21, 21-27 May 2008


HIGHLIGHTS

– Representative of the Secretary General emphasizes the need to ensure sustainability of the returns and resettlement process.

– Over two thirds of IDPs have left camps and 123 camps have closed since January.

– 84,752 IDPs remain in camps and over 53,330 IDPs settle in transit camps.

– Aid agencies report funding gaps for proposed projects; only 31.8% of the EHRP funded.

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.

I. General Overview

The Ministry of Planning released the Economic Survey for 2008, which reflected a grim economic situation, beleaguered by increased inflation and slowing economic growth. Economic growth is now estimated to have declined to 3.5-4.5% in 2008 whilst the Survey noted that the post-election violence (PEV) had caused USD 3.7 billion in damages and agriculture productivity had declined by 8.1% from the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Meanwhile, the bill for oil imports increased by 18.8% in the past year, further constraining domestic production with higher input costs. Furthermore, the World Bank was cited to have estimated that five million more Kenyans have been impoverished as a result of PEV. In light of these poor indicators, the key determinates of economic recovery outlined in the Survey, included the country’s ability to achieve the following: political stability, rehabilitation of infrastructure damaged in the PEV, construction of new infrastructure and increased regional economic integration in the East Africa Community.

In addition to economic woes, Kenya also rated poorly in the Global Peace Index for 2007-2008, dropping to number 119 out of 140 rated countries from number 91 out of 121 countries in the 2006-2007 Index. The report cited the high rates of homicide, violence, proliferation of arms and the unstable political climate as contributing factors to the declined rating. Indeed, a report by Peace-Net on small arms and light weapons (SALWs) in Kenya, noted that there is an increasing proliferation of SAWLs and that that the availability of SALWs played a significant role in the PEV.

Weapons are reportedly being sourced from Uganda, Southern Sudan and parts of South Ethiopia. The major weapons trafficking corridors are from Koloa Market, Marakwet district to Eldoret, Uasin Gishu district and parts of Nakuru district; from Kitale, Trans Nzoia district to Eldoret; and from Nairobi to Kauru, Molo and finally to Eldoret. Analysts noted that cattle rustling in West Pokot, Marakwet and East Baringo districts has actually declined as youth are engaging in weapons trafficking, a more lucrative activity. There will be a Global Week of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons from 2-9 June; during this week, the Kenya Action Network on Small Arms and Peace-Net will strengthen awareness campaigns in support of non-proliferation.

By-elections for five MPs on 11 June will determine the majority representation in Parliament between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Meanwhile debate continues from within the Grand Coalition as to whether some of the youth who protested peacefully during the PEV could be given amnesty; however, the Internal Security Minister has ruled out the possibility of blanket amnesty. Parliament is expected to debate the Truth Justice Reconciliation Commission Bill, which will provide further guidance on the way forward. Meanwhile, a renewed debate on land policy has emerged after the Minister of Lands suggested that all land with a 99-year lease pre-dating 1909 should revert to Government ownership. The policy is reportedly intended to facilitate the redistribution of land, an underlying driver of past conflicts; however, it may face serious resistance from lease-holders.

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