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Kakuma Town Kenya

Kakuma Town Guide

Kakuma Town is located on the northern part of Kenya Turkana County and has hosted the Kakuma Refugee Camp since 1992. This camp serves over 70,000 refugees who fled wars in neighboring countries. The majority are from southern Sudan, some from Somalia and the last major group from Ethiopia. Other groups include Burundians, Congolese, Eritreans and Ugandans.
Living in as a refugee is a very difficult experience. Dust storms frequently pass through the area. Malnutrition, communicable disease outbreaks and malaria are all ongoing problems, while donor support has faltered due to conflicts in other parts of the world. Many of the refugees hope to leave Kakuma Town for resettlement in another country such as the USA. For example, the “Lost Boys of Sudan” were a special group who were resettled from the camp to the U.S. in recent years. With the recent end of the civil war in Sudan between the SPLA and other southern forces against the government in Khartoum many are hopeful more Sudanese refugees will finally be able to return home.
The Kakuma Refugee Camp was the location of a large project from 1995 to 2002 sponsored by Solar Cookers International through which thousands of families began using solar panel cookers to cook their daily meals. Many families had been trading some of their meager food rations for firewood to use to cook what little food they had left. The project was organized such that a group of refugee women were trained to be trainers. These women would then be paid to hold regular classes to teach other women to solar cook and to provide them with a cooker. The cookers were made locally in Nairobi for US$2.00 each.

Kakuma Town Climate

Semi-arid climate with average temperatures reaching 40ºC and only drop to the low 30’s at night: very humid but dry and windswept, dust storms, poisonous spiders, snakes, and scorpions, outbreaks of malaria and cholera. Kakuma is wedged between two dry river-beds and the occasional rain frequently leads to flooding.
The only plants that survive are thorny bushes and a few African flat-topped trees. As agriculture is almost impossible this results in fierce competition among different local groups for ownership of cattle. Refugees are not allowed to keep animals, due to the potential for conflict between the refugees and the local Turkana people.

Economic Activities in Kakuma Town

Kakuma camp hosts more than 500 retail and wholesale shops. The camp has various markets, mostly organized according to ethnicity, where a wide variety of products are on sale, such as fresh and canned food items, vegetables and meat, clothing and household items, hardware, medicine, cosmetics, building equipment, electrical equipment, such as radios and telephones, and bicycles. There is a service sector with restaurants, coffee–tea shops, bars, pool halls, laundries and small businesses in Kenya offering telephone, banking, electronic repairs and maintenance, education, computing and internet services.

Hotels and Accommodations in Kakuma Town

  • Franco Hotel
  • International Rescue Committee

Education Institutions in Kakuma Town

The education coverage is: pre-primary 25%, primary education 65%, secondary education 2%. In 2014 there were: 7 pre-schools, 21 primary schools, 4 secondary schools (2 high schools and 2 technical colleges, where the Kenyan curriculum and Arabic courses are taught), numerous vocational training and other courses.
Cultural/traditional practices do not favour girl’s education. Girls only represent 20% of pupils in primary and secondary schools (forced and early marriage plays important role). Some parents refused daughters school because they could learn about family planning and contraception and other ways of critical thinking. However girls are more willing to partake in learning because education is a means to free themselves from family oppression. There is a rule requiring boys and girls to eat together at school. This has encouraged the coeducational idea, in sharp contrast to traditional practice, particularly for the Sudanese.
Congestion in schools, dilapidated and underresourced facilities, and a lack of trained teachers. Some pupils have to walk up to 10 kilometres to school (and the same way back). In 2003 Kakuma Distance Learning Centre offered 29 students the possibility to take academic courses with the University of South Africa. As a form of entrepreneurship, refugees started schools and training centres for language and vocational skills, sometimes with Kenyan teachers or volunteers from the camp. ‘Instant Network Schools’: eLearning project was launched in a secondary school and a community library in 2015. It is a mobile, quick and easily deployable solution that allow for interactive classes using mobile educational content.
Kakuma Refugee Secondary School

Health Facilities in Kakuma

Irc Kakuma Hospital

MFL Code: 14579
Facility Type: Other Hospital
Owner: Non-Governmental Organizations

Irc Kakuma Hospital

MFL Code: 14579
Facility Type: Other Hospital
Owner: Non-Governmental Organizations

Kakuma Medical Clinic

MFL Code: 14654
Facility Type: Medical Clinic
Owner: Private Practice – Clinical Officer

Kakuma Mission Hospital

MFL Code: 14655
Facility Type: Other Hospital
Owner: Kenya Episcopal Conference-Catholic Secretariat

Lokore Dispensary

MFL Code: 15063
Facility Type: Dispensary
Owner: Kenya Episcopal Conference-Catholic Secretariat

Lopur Dispensary (Turkana West)

MFL Code: 15082
Facility Type: Dispensary
Owner: Christian Health Association of Kenya

Makutano Health Centre (Turkana West)

MFL Code: 15117
Facility Type: Health Centre
Owner: Ministry of Health

Premier Medical Clinic

MFL Code: 18623
Facility Type: Medical Clinic
Owner: Private Practice – Clinical Officer

Kakuma Town- Photos

 

Kakuma Town- videos