Internally displaced persons in Kenya: a study of their struggle for livelihood in Kuresoi constituency, Nakuru county
Kenyans have been experiencing inter-ethnic conflicts for the past several years. The first ethnic conflicts occurred in the Rif Valley in 1992. Ever since various communities especially those in this region have been experiencing inter-ethnic conflicts which have led to loss of lives, property and displacement of households. Such cases have not been experienced not only in Rift valley but also in various parts of the country. Several households have greatly contributed to the growth of the economy not only in the study area but also in Kenya as a whole. However the frequent eruption of inter-ethnic conflicts has rendered their efforts fruitless. This project focused on internally displaced households and how they struggle for their livelihood in Kuresoi constituency, Nakuru County. To achieve this, the survey was conducted in two Internally Displaced Camps namely Kapkembo and Kongasis in Kuresoi constituency where several households provided information. Probability sampling was used to select IDP households that provided information using the questionnaires. Non probability sampling was used to select community leaders, government officials and church leaders who served s key informants. Non probability sampling was also used to select some of the most affected households that provided information using focus group discussion. A structured questionnaire was used for personal interviews, listed discussion topics were used for an in-depth interview, a focus group discussion guideline was used for focus group discussions, a checklist was used for observation and a case study conducted on one household. A total of 63 respondents participated in the research. Most of the activities were adhered towards the improvement of their living standards. The study revealed that 44.44% of the households were small scale farmers. As a source of livelihood, most of them members undertook farming and at the same time other part time jobs. Women were active participants in self-help groups through which they had been able to improve the living standards in their homesteads. Whenever there was an outbreak of inter-ethnic conflicts, most of the farms were left unattended to making their farm products to be destroyed. The study found out that inter-ethnic conflicts had negatively affected the participation of households in livelihood activities. All the respondents were unanimous that the conflicts negatively affected their livelihood activities. The findings indicated that the time taken before restoration of peace was long leading to permanent dissolution of livelihood activities like selfhelp groups. It was evident that that conflict brought about enmity and suspicion among community households. The findings also proved that fear and tension in Kuresoi will permanently affect the relationship among households from the two communities. The major recommendation was that the government should intensify the efforts in restoration of peace and unity in the area. Future studies ought to address a permanent solution to inter-ethnic conflicts in Kuresoi and in the whole country.