UN seeks to mitigate environmental degradation by refugees in Dadaab
Newly-arrived refugee children from Somalia pose for a photograph at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya’s border with Somalia.
The United Nations refugees agency is looking for funds to mitigate the environmental degradation caused by refugees.
UNHCR’s head of operations in Dadaab Jean Rushatsi said they are making the intervention because the refugees problem is a shared responsibility.
Speaking in Dagahaley refugee camp yesterday, Rushasti said the agency has developed green fields at the Ifo2 and Kambioos camps.
Environmentalists have previously raised concerns over degradation by refugees.
Rushatsi said degradation in the Dadaab camp was a major concern to the UNHCR. He said the agency had come up with proposals for donor finance.
He spoke a day after leading observation of the World Refugees Day in Dadaab.
This year’s theme “We Stand With Refugees” gave renewed hope to three young brothers from South Sudan who were transferred from Kakuma to Dagahaley in 2014.
The brothers said they will return to their country after acquiring education.
Rushasti said 254,811 Somali refugees have been voluntarily repatriated from Dadaab since 2013. Another 4,949 non-Somali refugees have been relocated to Kalobeyei in the Kakuma camp.
In Nairobi, UNHCR special envoy Mohamed Affey asked the government to allow free movement of refugees to enable them do business. Affey said freedom will empower the asylum seekers.
“Refugees are assets wherever they are and the issue of inclusion in economic development is one of the solutions,” Affey