Clashes between refugees and host communities: the case study of Kakuma refugee camp, 1992-2013
This study investigates the clashes between refugees and host communities in Kakuma refugee camp in the Turkana County in North West Kenya between 1992 and 2013. It examines the causes of clashes and assesses the impact of the clashes on both refugees and host communities. The study adopted a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. Data was collected mainly through focused group discussions, oral interviews, books and journal articles. The study hinges on two theories i.e. the Basic Human Needs Theory and Social Development Theory both of which allude that humans and society seek to fulfill their unmet needs and aspirations to achieve social and economic goals. Although the study finds evidence of clashes between refugees and host communities, that notwithstanding, the study also finds UNHCR and humanitarian partners policies in their selective provision of humanitarian aid to refugees indirectly responsible for clashes between the refugees and host communities. Hence, the consequences arising from the imbalance and inequality in the provision of humanitarian aid exacerbate clashes between the refugees and host communities. The study finds causes of clashes between refugees and host communities stemming from issues to do with excision of host communities land for settlement of refugees without their inclusion and compensation, wanton cutting down of trees leading to deforestation and environmental destruction. These issues together with host communities‟ limited access to social services apparently enjoyed by refugees and diverse cultural disparities, compounded by socio-economic and cultural and political impacts all played to exacerbate clashes between the Kakuma refugees and the host communities as well as change the way of life for host communities.