Economic and Socio-Cultural Impact of Refugees on the Kenyan Communities. A Case Study at Kakuma Camp

Case Study, 2017

68 Pages


Table of Contents

1.0 Overview
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 The Purpose of the Study
1.4 Objective of the study
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Justification of the study
1.7 Significance of the Study
1.8 Scope and limitation of the study
1.8.1 The Scope of the Study
1.8.2 Limitation of the Study
1.9 Theoretical Framework
1.10 Operational Definition of Terms

2.0 Introduction
2.1 Social and Economic Impact of Refugees
2.2 Relationship between the Turkana people and the Refugee Population
2.3 Refugee Camps, Influx and Host Community Household Viability
2.4 Factors creating tension and conflict between Hosts and Refugee Populations
2.5 Factors that support Coexistence and Constructive Collaborations between Hosts and Refugees
2.6 Recommendations to resolve perceived negative impact of Refugees
2.7 Summary of Literature Review

3.0 Introduction
3.1 Study Area
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Target Population
3.4 Sampling procedures and Sample size
3.5 Research instrument
3.5.1 Questionnaires
3.5.2 Interview
3.5.3 Documentary analysis
3.6 Reliability and Validity of Research Instruments
3.6.1 Reliability of Research Instruments
3.6.2 Validity of Research Instruments
3.7 Data collection procedures
3.8 Data Analysis and presentation of findings
3.9 Ethical and legal considerations
3.10 Chapter Summary

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Background information of the respondents
4.2 Results and Discussion of Research Findings
4.2.1 Kind of Relationship between Host Community and the Refugees
4.2.2 Hosts relationship with the refugee population
4.2.3 Refugee’s relationship with the host community
4.3 Refugee’s presence and socio-cultural and economic structure of the host
4.3.1 Economic impact of the refugee’s presence on the host community
4.3.2 Infrastructural impact of the refugee’s presence on the host community
4.4 Perceived effects of Education and Health aspects of the refugee’s presence on the host community
4.5 Kakuma refugee’s presence and security
4.6 Sanitation and Environmental impacts on the host community
4.7 Effect of cultural and ethnic aspects of the refugee’s presence on the host
4.8 Effects of refugee camp and influx on household viability of the host
4.9 Main sources of tensions and conflict between the host and refugees
4.10 Sources of support coexistence collaborations between the host & refugees

5.0 Introduction
5.1 Summary of the study findings
5.1.1 Kind of relationship between host community and the refugees
5.1.2 Refugee’s presence and socio-cultural and economic impact on the host
5.1.3 Effects of refugee camp and influx on household viability of the host
5.1.4 Main sources of tensions and conflict between the host and refugees
5.1.5 Sources of support coexistence collaborations between the host and refugees
5.2 Conclusions
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Recommendations for Further Research




1.0 Overview

This chapter outlines the background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, justification of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitations of the study, assumptions of the study, conceptual framework, and definitions of operational terms and summary of the chapter.

1.1 Background to the Study

Kakuma Refugee Camp has been in existence in northern Kenya since the early 1990s. It was initially established as a haven for refugees fleeing the Sudanese civil war. Over time it has come to accommodate refugees from other parts of Africa, including Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and the DRC. Although all these refugees live in a designated camp, they do not live in a vacuum. Their presence in Turkana county has an effect on the social, economic and cultural environment of the host community, namely the Turkana. This issue has gained increasing prominence in the recent past as refugee flows have continued to increase, as a result of the numerous conflicts in various parts of the world, which means that most nations of the world have to grapple with refugee problems (Earl and Bouvier, 1983). Indeed, Kenya is no exception.

Refugee camps are rarely if ever built in completely uninhabited places. In most cases they are built in areas that were previously occupied by residents of the host nation. This is true of Kakuma, as the area already had a resident Turkana population when the camp was set up. Therefore, a new refugee camp is likely to have numerous impacts, both positive and negative, on the lives and livelihoods of the host population. Thus the host communities are forced to adjust to these changes, and this may bring about tension, and even conflict (Chambers, 1986). However, more attention is usually given to the refugee population, as they are in dire need of assistance, having escaped from conflict, but this means that the local population are often neglected, especially if they were marginalized developmentally before the refugees came. The influx of refugees often means more competition for scarce resources, which may lead to host populations becoming even more destitute than they initially were (UNHCR, 2011).

According to the United Nations Status of Refugees Convention (UNHCR, 1979), a refugee is defined as a person “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country...”. The majority of refugee crises are the result of conflict, and most conflicts tend to be internal and inter-communal (Loescher, 1992). Nevertheless, people may be forced to flee their countries due to gross human rights violations, colonial oppression, direct and structural violence, civil war, ethnic, religious and political persecution and strife, and economic reasons, or natural disasters.

Despite the existence of international conventions on refugees, they are treated differently in various countries. Even within the same country, treatment of refugees may vary with time. For instance, some countries may warmly welcome refugees, and provide them with the resources that they need to establish themselves in the host country, while other countries try to prevent refugees from entering, or even if they do so, they treat them harshly in an attempt to dissuade them from staying (Jacobsen, 1996). Unfortunately, most refugee hosting countries are developing nations, and so they are not well placed to treat refugees well, even if that is their initial intention. Thus a refugee influx often results in an extended period of adverse social, economic and environmental difficulty for developing host countries (UNHCR Standing Committee 1997).

Sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate share of the refugee burden, with 29% of the offocially recognized global refugee burden (UNHCR Standing Committee 2004). By 2007, Africa was still home to approximately 9.7 million of the world's 32.8 million refugees (UNCHR-Geneva, 2007). Depending on numerous circumstances, the influx of refugees may be either positive or negative for the host nations. Negative impacts arise from the strain placed on natural resources, as well as language and cultural barriers that may heighten mistrust and conflict between refugees and host communities. Alternatively, the arrival of refugees can be seen as an opportunity by the host communities to enhance resource development. for instance, refugees may have human resources that could be beneficial to the host country, and that it could exploit to its long term advantage. These do not have to be skilled workers; even unskilled refugees can contribute to the host economy in terms of providing cheap agricultural labour, and by providing a ready market for locally produced goods. Furthermore, the facilities built by international organizations to assist refugees, such as schools and hospitals, may also be beneficial to local residents of the host community (Beth, 1999).

Kenya has borne a particularly heavy refugee burden. From the 1980s and 1990s onwards, there were conflicts and instability in many neighbouring countries, as well as nearby countries in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes regions, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. Refugees from these countries have moved into neighbouring countries, and man of them have ended up in Kenya, especially those fleeing the conflicts in Somalia and Sudan. Kenya hosts the majority of its refugee population in camps, jointly run with the UNHCR, namely Dadaab, close to its border with Somalia, and Kakuma, close to its border with South Sudan.

Refugee camps are effectively cities that are built overnight. However, due to their sudden construction, and the indefinite nature of their period of existence, refugee camps lack the facilities and services that are the norm in similar sized urban settlements, such as the provision of water, food, sanitation, and even proper shelter, as refugees keep arriving, and often new dwellings have to be built to accommodate them. The problem is exacerbated by the poor economic condition of the host countries. Thus the refugees appear as an unwelcome burden to states that are already struggling to take care of their own citizens. Consequently, African nations are not very welcoming to refugees from other nations. Therefore, in order to discourage long stays, refugee camps are often built in remote and inhospitable locations in the host country. This is the case with Kakuma, as is explained in detail by Aukot (2003). the host community in Kakuma, the Turkana people, are also economically and developmentally marginalized, so the arrival of refugees in their homeland is an additional, and unwelcome, challenge.

Thus it is apparent that apart from the burden of hosting refugees until it is safe for them to return home, host countries have responsibilities to their own citizens. Indeed, without the help of international agencies, it is unlikely that many Sub-Saharan African countries would be able to cope with refugee populations. However, as previously mentioned, the bulk of activity and even scholarly interest in refugee situations understandably tends to be focused on refugees, while ignoring the plight of host communities, who may be in even greater need of help than the refugees they are hosting.

Consequently, the current study has arisen as an attempt to address the plight of communities that are hosting refugees, and to investigate the interactions between host and refugee populations, to determine whether the economic and social impact of refugees on the host communities is positive or negative, especially in terms of their impact on interactions with their hosts, and their effect on public services.

1.2 Statement of problem

Although, on the face of it, the refugee population at Kakuma Camp is receiving asylum and assistance from the Government of Kenya and international agencies, it is ironic that the people in the host population, namely the Turkana, are in even greater need of assistance that the refugees they are hosting. However, since the host population are not the responsibility of the international agencies, their plight should ideally be addressed by their own Government. Unfortunately, this is not forthcoming, due to decades of marginalization.

Thus there is a need to closely investigate how host communities such as the Turkana react to the arrival of refugees in their territory. In addition to the challenges imposed by the harsh environment in Turkana, refugee inflows mean even greater stress on environmental goods such as water, fuelwood and food. The Turkana were already struggling to cope before the arrival of refugees, so it may be expected that they may struggle even more once refugees are housed in their neighbourhood. This is the prevailing view of the impact of refugees on host communities. However, there is also scholarly literature to indicate that refugees may have positive effects on host populations, especially in terms of access to services and provision of a new, large market for locally produced goods and services.

Furthermore, the refugees may outnumber the host population, as refugee numbers grow through immigration while host populations grow naturally. Refugees may also have access to external finances in the form of remittances, which the host population do not enjoy. Thus the social and economic disparity between host and refugee populations may be so great as to lead to conflict between the two, which is contrary to the purpose of establishing the refugee camp; namely to provide a safe haven for refugees.

These numerous aforementioned factors all contribute to the relationship between host communities and refugees, the socio-cultural and economic characteristics of the host community, and their household viability. These factors may even cause tension and conflict between the two groups. Therefore the current study sets out to investigate all relevant factors and to seek recommendations that will enhance coexistence and collaboration between refugee and host communities in Kakuma that may be applied to similar refugee camps elsewhere

1.3 The Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to establish the economic and socio-cultural effects of population refugees on the Kakuma host community of Kenya.

1.4 Objective of the study

The main objective of the study was to investigate the economic and socio-cultural impact of refugees on the Kenyan communities: a case study of refugees at Kakuma Camp. To achieve this aim, the following specific objectives were used to:

i. To investigate the kind of relationship between the Turkana community and the refugee population
ii. To find out the real and perceived impact of the refugees presence on the socio-cultural and economic structure of the Kakuma host community
iii. To establish the effects of refugee camp and refugees influx on household viability of the Kakuma host community
iv. To the main sources that are creating tensions and conflict between the host community of Kakuma and the refugee population of Kakuma Camp.
v. To find out the main sources that are support coexistence and constructive collaborations between the host community of Kakuma and the refugee population of Kakuma Camp

1.5 Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions:

i. What are the kind of relationship that exists between the Turkana community and the refugee population?
ii. What are the real and perceived impacts of the refugee’s presence on the socio-cultural and economic structure of the Kakuma host community?
iii. What is the effect of refugee camp and refugees influx on household viability of the Kakuma host community?
iv. What are the main sources that are creating tensions and conflict between the host community of Kakuma and the refugee population of Kakuma Camp?
v. What are the main sources that are support coexistence and constructive collaborations between the host community of Kakuma and the refugee population of Kakuma Camp

1.6 Justification of the study

Refugee flows are often followed by immediate consequences whose empirical results have been mixed. Much of the research about refugees has been focused on aid to refugees, rather than their socio-economic engagements with host communities. A study of the socio-economic impact of refugees has been assumed or neglected. A better understanding of their living conditions, interaction with host people’s perception about them was essential for planning for them.

1.7 Significance of the Study

The study would throw more light into the causal relationships among the economic and socio-cultural of refugees’ variables under investigation and the Kenyan host communities. The outcome of the study is therefore expected to stimulate the stakeholders to improve upon the isolated variables which have been found to have direct causal relationships with Kenyan host communities, with a view to enhancing the relationship between refugees’ and the Kenyan host communities.

The research is expected to contribute to the field by beginning to build knowledge in the literature. The literature on refugees and their economic and socio-cultural on host communities is limited, and the literature specifically relating to Africa is particularly scarce. Very little research has been completed in host countries in Africa, even though the overwhelming majority of refugees continue to reside in a host country- usually close to their country of origin. A focus on the refugee hosting countries is especially needed, but lacking, as the majority of refugees are never resettled into a third country - of the 14 million refugees at the end of 2008, only 86,460 were resettled into a third country (U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, 2009, p. 29-33). A significant gap exists for the 99.5% of refugees who are still living in Africa, Asia, and other refugee hosting areas. The American Red Cross Symposium Report in 1999 also agree that “there is a general lack of published literature” on this topic, although there is some unpublished literature and private evaluations of programs through NGOs (p. 10). Some of the research that has been completed on refugees living in Africa is in the form of theses and dissertations written by students and not available to the general population, as they have not been published.

This new knowledge in the body of literature is also expected to contribute to the research available regarding the experiences of refugees. Several sources state that there have been relatively few studies focusing specifically on refugee (Pavlish, 2005). The need for research focusing on refugees is quite important and should not be underestimated. This research will also contribute to the areas of policy and practice. The lack of knowledge regarding the refugees and their daily life situations may also contribute to an overall lack of appropriate interventions and policy to guide these interventions. With better knowledge, policies can be developed to better assist refugee both in the refugee camps in East Africa and in other locations.

1.8 Scope and limitation of the study

1.8.1 The Scope of the Study

This research aims at investigating how refugees in Kakuma affect the social, cultural, and economic life of the host population, the Turkana community. It focuses on these two groups of people living in and around the refugee camp at Kakuma, and examines the nature of their mutual relationship.

1.8.2 Limitation of the Study

One of the limitations to this study was the language barrier. Many of the host community do not speak either English or Kiswahili, languages the researcher is fluent in, therefore the research assistants had to cat as translators. This was similarly a limitation among the refugee population. Another limitation was that people were reluctant to speak to the researcher, or demanded incentives, which is counter to the ethics of research. Due to the size, remoteness, and harsh climatic conditions of the study area, the researcher could not reach as many respondents as was initially preferred, thereby affecting the quality of the findings.

The lack of reliable information on host community population, distribution and status meant that the assessment had to make its own estimates of these figures based on the 2009 KNBS demographic results. This resulted in new insights into social and demographic changes in the host area, but it should also be stated that figures are estimates and have margins of error. The other major constraint/risk was the prevailing insecurity in the Kakuma camps and host community during the assessment period. This led to delays and some insecure areas not being adequately covered in the assessment. The level of insecurity in Kakuma Refugee Camp meant that the researcher's freedom of movement was restricted, and thus it was difficult to get respondents from each subgroup within the population. The security situation in the host community is similarly risky; therefore the number of host community respondents was also restricted.

Due to the lack of published statistical information, especially in relation to economics and trade, the researcher chose to use a bottom-up approach for the estimation of impacts. Generalizing from samples always brings a risk of amplifying errors. However, the study ensured that figures were double-checked and conservative estimates were always used. The lack of reliable information on host community population, distribution and status meant that the study team had to make its own estimates of these figures. This resulted in new insights into social and demographic changes in the host area, but it should also be stated that figures are estimates and have margins of error.

Results from the fieldwork gave a consistent picture of impacts with only a few cases of contradictory information. It became apparent that much of the information provided by host community leaders in public and at the initial superficial level painted a very different picture of impact than the reality found as the study progressed. The nature of the dynamic between humanitarian agencies and host communities tends to generate long lists of requests for support that must be provided as “compensation” for the negative impacts of refugees. There is a risk that any findings from this study that contradict the entrenched view of refugee/host relations may be rejected, and this is something that the researcher will need to be prepared for.

For example, study findings include the sensitive issues of large-scale influx of settlers to the host area, large numbers of people from the host community being registered as refugees, and the vibrant economic interactions that the camps have stimulated. Disseminating these unprecedented findings risks creating a more difficult relationship between GoK, humanitarian agencies and host communities, as they shed new light on the significant benefits of the camps for the hosting area, as well as their negative impacts, and put into perspective the frequently-raised issue of compensation to host communities for the hosting of refugees. It is not the intention of the study team to endorse any reduction in support to host communities that might appear justified in light of the previously un-quantified benefits that they are realizing, but to argue for a different way of supporting those communities that promotes self-sufficiency rather than dependency.

1.9 Theoretical Framework

The current study is based on refugee aid and development theory, which maintains that refugee relief programs should be linked with the development policies of the host country. In this way, both refugee and host populations can develop at the same pace, without gaping disparities. Refugee aid and development theory was developed by Betts and Gorman (Gorman, 1993) who stated that refugee assistance should have a development oriented goal that also takes into account the needs of host communities. However, implementation of this theory is hindered by lack of support in both donor and host countries, lack of coordination between refugee agencies and development organizations, and the constant stream of refugees which makes it difficult to integrate them into development plans (Bates, 1981).

Refugee aid and development theory nevertheless highlights the fact that host communities may benefit from hosting refugees, as opposed to the prevailing notion that refugees are invariably detrimental to the wellbeing of host populations. Indeed, according to Harrell-Bond (1986), refugees can be an opportunity, rather than a burden. Thus, according to the theory, refugee inflows have both costs and benefits for host countries (Kuhlman, 1984). the burdens are imposed on the environment, infrastructure and natural resources, while the benefits are visible in terms of cheap labour, expanded markets, trade and foreign aid. Therefore the government has good reasons to include refugees in its development plans (Daley, 1994).

According to Chambers (1986), the impact of refugees is not felt equally across all sectors, economic classes, regions and segments of the host country's society. This is because the refugee situation varies with time; and that the refugee burden may transform into a resource and vice versa. Therefore the current research seeks to add to this discourse by assessing the costs and benefits of refugee presence in host countries, and establishing how they may vary over time, by addressing social, economic and cultural impacts of the refugee presence for host communities in and around Kakuma Refugee Camp.

1.10 Operational Definition of Terms

Capital is a fund required for starting a business activity.

Conflict refers to a discord, hostility or competition between two or more people over power, values or scarce resource.

Host refers to a host is any person who provides hospitality. Hospitality is the relationship between guest and host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. In the case of this research the word host will be used to refer to the Kakuma community of Kenya that were hospitable to the refugees.

Income refers to money that, someone gets from working or from investing. For the case of this research income shall mean the positive or negative effects of economy initiated by a foreigner to a host community.

Refugees refers to people who have fled from their countries owing to “well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion and unwilling or unable to avail of the protection of that country, (UN Convention 1957). In this research, the refugees are those people who fled their home country due to the civil wars and now reside in Kakuma Refugee Camp.

Squatters refer to persons who settle on land or occupy property without title or ownership.

Violence refers to a distractive way of handling conflict where people harm their opponent in an effort to meet their own needs.



2.0 Introduction

This chapter presents and discusses the relevant literature in order to determine the findings of previous studies, to identify gaps in the literature which can be addressed by the current study, and to address the issue of economic and social impact of refugees on Kenyan host communities, through a case study of Kakuma Refugee Camp. The literature review achieves this by discussing relevant findings contained in books, articles, journals, periodicals, conference proceedings, seminar reports, government documents, theses, dissertations, abstracts and so on. It shows how the findings relate to the topic of the current study, and concludes by identifying the gaps that need to be filled. This chapter was subdivided into sub-sections detailing various aspects of the literature review.

2.1 Social and Economic Impact of Refugees

The flow of refugees into a particular area of the host country may have positive effects. For instance, in terms of social services it may mean that areas such as health and education receive assistance through construction of schools and hospitals. In the initial phase of refugee influx is it typical that these services are reserved for refugees, although in long term they may also bring benefits to local communities as they will also receive increased access to these services (Chambers, 1986).

According to the World Bank Development Report (World Bank, 2011) social services are often improved in refugee hosting communities, with reference to communities in Mexico in the early 1990s. Improved access to health services is the third most reported positive impact by the host community respondents. Free medical services at clinics in the camps provided by humanitarian organizations have become available for the host community. Services in the camp are free of charge in contrast to the hospital in Kakuma town. However, host communities may be denied access to these services, based on host country policies of segregating refugees from the host population, which may diminish the benefits of hosting refugees.

Increased market, business and job opportunities are some of the most reported favourable impacts by the host community. Hosts have experienced more opportunities to generate income and provide livelihood through trading with refugees in the camp or working for them in exchange for food or money. This has been the most significant change in terms of their livelihood approach for many of the host respondents (Alix-Garcia and Saah, 2009).

This is confirmed by Maystadt and Verwimp (2009) who show that refugee camps create a larger market for generating income and better opportunities to provide basic needs such as food and water. The majority of the host population use refugee camps for providing livelihoods. The authors, who conducted their study in refugee camps in Tanzania, also showed that the creation of new common marketplaces within refugee camps enabled external food aid to be sold or exchanged with the host community.

Indeed, refugee camps tend to become the new town and business centres of the surrounding host communities, as camps are where food, water and business opportunities are found. Employment opportunities for hosts in camps have been a significant livelihood resource. However, the experience in Kakuma has been the opposite of what Maystadt and Verwimp (2009) describe in camps in Tanzania where hosts employed cheap labour from refugees related to agriculture. Kakuma`s extreme dry environment makes agriculture on land and soil limited. In term of access to food and water the refugees are in an advantageous position over most hosts (Aukot, 2003). This results in refugees employing hosts to do small jobs for them. These jobs might not be ideal or well paid, but it has created livelihood opportunities for the host community.

2.2 Relationship between the Turkana people and the Refugee Population

The remote arid area of Kakuma is located in the Turkana County in north-west Kenya near the border to South Sudan. The inhabitants of Kakuma belong to the pastoralist tribe known as Turkana. The changing reality for Turkana`s in Kakuma of becoming a hosting community to a refugee population significant larger than their own population has brought on many changes, challenges and opportunities (Aukot, 2003).

In this regard, Martin’s (2005) conceptual model on Environmental Conflict between Refugees and Host Communities is worth considering. In this conceptual work, there is a growing concern that scarcity-induced insecurities can contribute to an amplification of perceived significance of ethnic differences and inequalities, creating the conditions for unproductive conflict. The author showed that influxes of refugees into an area can place considerable stress on natural resources, leading to both environmental and social impacts, as was confirmed by Black & Sessay (1997). Martin (2005) further explains that resource demand can dramatically increase following the creation of settlements, leading to accelerated conversion of forest agricultural land, collection of firewood, extraction of surface and ground waters, fishing and hunting. That is why many case studies argue that large numbers of refugees place stress on fragile local resources in the reception areas and this leads to over-exploitation of common property resources such as wood, charcoal and water, among others.

In this paradigm, refugees are increasingly perceived as a burden, creating a recipe for bad refugee-host relationships as most refugee experiences have shown. , made this observation in the Great Lakes region and vividly found that the process of settlement in camps gave further impetus to the depletion of forest resources. Certainly refugees would depend on the forest to find fuel-wood for energy and building materials. This eventually leads to serious deforestation which has direct and indirect consequences for the host community.

In direct terms, Adisa (1996) observed that local host populations had to adjust to and cope with shortages of fuel and construction wood. This imposed an extra burden on particularly women and children in the local communities who had to travel much longer distances to collect wood and water for household use at the expense of other activities such as farming or going to school. The indirect impact on sustainability of local farming systems is equally substantial as the depletion of forest resources leads to increased soil erosion, pollution and damage to water resources of the host community. The author concludes that in such cases at worst, conflict following refugee settlements can equally lead to further population displacement, aggravating the very problem to which such settlements are a response.

Chambers (1996) examines the impact of rural refugees and refugee programmes on poorer hosts. The author particularly identifies impacts of refugee situations on people or different groups among the host population, and argues that in rural refugee-affected areas, the better-off and more visible hosts usually gain from the presence of refugees and from refugee programmes. In contrast, the poorer among the hosts can be hidden losers. This is more so now than in the past, especially where land is scarce and labour is relatively abundant. The poorer hosts can lose from competition for food, work, wages, services and common property resources. In general, Chambers (1986) states that, the host-refugee relationship appears to be multifaceted with those hosts who already had access to resources and power being able to exploit the refugee situation and capitalize further while the most disadvantaged hosts struggle to maintain access to the most basic resources.

In the past few years, another dimension of the adversities faced by Liberian refugees in Ghana has been the seemingly strained relationship between the displaced Liberian community and Ghanaian authorities (Chester, 2008). Evidence of such a relationship has been expressed in the forms of protests and other socio-political movements championed by Liberian community leaders at refugee camps. One crucial factor is the relationship between refugees and the indigenous population. Some authors tend to understand this relationship through ethnic affinities but ethnicity as such is misleading, because ethnic affinity does not guarantee a good or a bad relationship between refugees and hosts (Aall, 1967).

Indeed, according to Regassa (2010), on the Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, during the 1960s there was no hostility between the host community in Ethiopia and Sudanese refugees because of cultural and historical relationship. However, in the 1980s hostility began towards the refugees as a result of competition over resources and the actions of some misbehaving SPLM/A soldiers against the local community. This was not the only source of hostility, as the resources and facilities provided by international aid organizations for refugees like food relief, schooling and clinics were inaccessible to the host community made them jealous (Regassa, 2010).

On the other hand, in Ghana, there has been a good social relationship between the host community and the Liberian refugees. As Sanjugta (2003) has noted in a similar study in Tanzania, their relation is cordial. There have been intermarriages between them and they attend some social events like weddings, funerals, and child naming ceremonies of the other community. This has been possible because large numbers of the refugees are living outside the camp and have been unofficially integrated in the community.

According to Beth Whitaker (2002), the impact of refugees varies within host communities based on factors such as gender, age and class. Whitaker has also observed that the host experiences can also be different from one area to another depending on settlement patterns, existing socio-economic conditions, and nature of the host-refugee relations. In the end, hosts who already had access to resources, education, or power better poised to benefit from the refugee presence, while those who were already disadvantaged in the local context became further marginalized. Whitaker also observed that the extent to which hosts were able to benefit from the refugee presence depend gender, age, and socio-economic class.

The large influx of humanitarian agencies in Kakuma resulted in a significant number of national migrations (mainly from Turkana County) to Kakuma due to the opportunities accompanied by the refugee and humanitarian presence. Estimations suggest that the non-refugee population in Kakuma grew from 9000 in 1991 to 40,000 in 2000. In addition is the Kakuma refugee camp hosting more than 100,000 refugees to date (UNHCR, 2012).

Development in Kakuma and Turkana has been significantly marginalized throughout history both in economic and political perspectives (Aukot, 2003). The environmental conditions and scarce resource access makes living in Kakuma extremely challenging. In addition, the Turkana tribe for a long time been engaged in conflicts with neighbouring tribes such as the Pokot, Karamojong and other bordering tribes (McCabe, 2004). Nevertheless, many of the Turkana hosts are going to the camp to work for refugees. Such work consists of bringing firewood, charcoal, trees for fencing plots, washing clothes and other small jobs. The food distribution centres seem to be the biggest “market” for host to get some work. A common sight is many host community members lining up outside the gates of the distribution centres when refugees collect their food rations. The Turkana hosts carry food rations for refugees in exchange for a small share of the ration or money (UNHCR, 2012).

Empirical research by Aukot (2003:76) suggests that the relationship between the host Turkana and refugee communities was relatively good in the first years of the camp existence. Although, is it documented that this good relationship has declined over time. The rising tension was especially between Turkana and the Sudanese Dinka tribe who were amongst the majority of the residents in the early days of the camp presence. Incidents were reported by hosts such as refugees entering their villages stealing, provoking fights, raping of women and murdering of Turkana people (Aukot 2003:76). On the contrary refugees claimed that Turkana people conducted criminal activities such as cattle-rustling and other means of violence. Either way has these conflicts between the host Turkana and refugees had a negative impact on their relationship and coexistence.

Experiences of refugees disrespecting the Turkana culture and nationality are expressed by members of the host community, who argue that refugees harass and disrespect them when they go to the camp to sell firewood or other items (Bartolomei et al., 2003). Further the hosts argue that they receive no respect or gratitude from the refugees even if they are living in Turkana land and are hosted by them.

2.3 Refugee Camps, Influx and Host Community Household Viability

Refugees and the camp presence affect the household viability of the host community. Household viability herein is based on Kiberab`s (1987) definition: “the household's ability to sustain itself by generating a specific minimum income which permits it to meet its consumptions requirements.” Allowing refugees to integrate locally must be done in a way that protects the viability of the local communities affected by the presence of refugees in order to minimize any adverse effects. To do this, nations must understand the potential impacts that hosting refugees will have on their society (Whitaker, 2002).

Chambers (1986) presents theories on how host communities based on contextual conditions will be impacted by refugee camp presence. He argues that in areas where access to natural resources are limited is it likely that host communities are to be hurt as competition for these resources could increase. Chambers (1986) further claims that overexploitation of common property resources (CPRs) in hosting communities are likely due to camp development. The Kakuma context fits Chambers (1986) description of an area where CPRs are limited, and according to his theory would locals in Kakuma be losing out to these vital resources.

Alix-Garcia and Saah (2009) confirm Chambers (1986) views that increasing competition for resources in addition to population growth and migration may negatively impact the host community and their household viability. They do also present a theory that new market opportunities for locals to sell, buy and trade merchandises with refugees may have a positive impact for the host community. Maystadt and Verwimps (2009) empirical research from hosting communities in Tanzania supports this theory as they argue that a significant amount of food rations distributed to refugees are often sold or exchanged at new markets between refuges and local hosts.

The authors respond to what impacts have been experienced and how refugee camps have affected household viability of the host community. The authors argue that there has been slightly more positive than negative impacts. Camps have created more opportunities to provide livelihoods for the majority of the host community respondents (Berry, 2008). Although many hosts argue that these opportunities are limited and conditions working for refugees are not good, the fact is that camps provide a larger market for trading, business and job opportunities (Konyndykis, 2005). Many hosts mention that their household viability has improved compared to before the camp presence. In addition the majority of hosts explained that they use the refugee camp as their main source for providing livelihood. This does not mean that hosts should be satisfied with these impacts, but rather stating the realities experienced (Smith, 2001).

The majority of host respondents are still living in extreme challenging conditions, and access to food and water in the host community is significantly scarcer then within the refugee camp. These differences in food and water availability have resulted in hosts feeling marginalized by the Government of Kenya and the humanitarian community. Food and water security is still the biggest challenge for the host community. Statistics showing that Turkana County has the highest poverty level (94, 3%) in all of Kenya (Kenya Open Data 2006) further supports this stance.

Impacts from refugee camp have been both positive and negative. The same impacts may both result in positive and negative outcomes in terms of hosts’ household viability and their relationship with refugees (Kuhlman, 1994). Although slightly more positive than negative impacts have been experienced they have not been significant enough to provide sustainability to the host community. Limited livelihood opportunities combined with experience of unequal humanitarian assistance in the host community have led hosts to approach the camp in search for livelihood. The research states that improving hosts experiences will also improve the host-refugee relationship. Finally the research shows that if the host community is continuing to struggle to provide livelihoods it is likely that the conflicting relationship between hosts and refugees will continue (Martin, 2005).

2.4 Factors creating tension and conflict between Hosts and Refugee Populations

New realities experienced by communities hosting refugees are accompanied by many challenges especially in the initial influx phase as well as in long-term presence. Changes and impacts on the lives of the host community as expressed above can be both positive and negative depending on many factors. What is often experienced is that the impacts of new realities of hosting refugees create tensions and conflicts between the host community and the refugee population (Crisp, 2003).

Local communities also complain of having to share the available resources and services in short supply with these uninvited guests (refugees) (Rutinwa, 1999). Thus, refugees were henceforth viewed as a burden, a source of insecurity and criminality, a source of tension between the sending and the receiving countries and a source of tension between local communities. As Harrell-Bond (1986) points out, one assumption which is shared by both host governments and the international humanitarian agencies is that refugees constitute a problem, a burden.

Sources of these conflicts cannot be evaluated in an isolated vacuum. Usually are there combinations of several impacts that create situations of conflicts between host populations and settled refugees. Social and cultural impacts can also play a role in these complex situations. For example some refugees that arrive from neighbouring countries have been historically in disputes with their neighbours that now become their hosts. Jacobsen (2002) explains that this is the case in the border area between southern Sudan and Kenya where the majority pursue a pastoralist lifestyle and where cattle-rustling has been a long-standing tradition.

In Northern Ghana, it is local host populations’ resentment of these unwelcome changes in their society that has also provoked tension between host population and refugees. In his study of Liberian refugees in Ghana at Buduburam, Dick (2002) associating himself with this observation captures certain attitudes and behaviours of the youth that had some security implications. He observed certain negative coping mechanisms, including various forms of delinquent, aggressive and antisocial behaviour in the refugee settlement.

Encroachment on the privately owned forests due to demand for fuel wood also has the potential of generating tensions between hosts and refugees. Chambers (1986) rightly pointed out that since all or almost all hosts lose due to refugee presence, it is not surprising to find local host communities as a whole showing hostility to the exploitation of CPRs (common property resources) by refugees.

As indicated by Dick (2002) even though the proportion of refugees who receive remittances may be only ten to fifteen per cent of the population, others including host community members benefit indirectly. At the same time, the receipt of remittances might also have the effect of increasing the socio-economic inequalities to be found in a refugee population, thereby increasing the potential for tension and social conflict between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.

Ethnic and group identification on the basis of cultural identity is frequently, though not always one variable involved in the chemistry of conflict (Smith, 2001). On this basis, host societies may sometimes find refugees socially unacceptable for various reasons. These reasons according to Smith may range from cultural incompatibilities to economic fears relating to such things as employment or land and other resource usage.

Homer-Dixon (1991) posits that as different ethnic and cultural groups are propelled together under the circumstances of deprivation and stress, we should expect inter-group hostility, in which a group would emphasize its own identity while denigrating, discriminating against, and attacking outsiders. The focus of this theory is on the way groups reinforce their identities and the “we-they” cleavages that often result.

Both Aukot (2003) and Crisp (2003) have identified the absence of security in Kakuma where UNHCR is expected to provide security for the refugees also in relation to the host community. Bartolomei et al., (2003) are equally supporting the views of the Kakuma security situation as critical and affecting the relationship between the hosts and refugees. Further Bartolomei et al., (2003) and Crisp (2003) reveal that tensions between the local Turkana and refugee community are high. In addition is the presence of weapons such as AK-47 high and violent incidents also resulting in death between the two groups are frequent. Aukot (2003) recognizes the camp presence as an area of growing locality of social conflict, economic decline and political abuse. In that respect, one should for no reason underestimate the possible impacts of refugee camps on host communities.

The majority of the hosts argue that conflicts described at community level between host and refugees were most frequent in the years between 2000 and 2008 (UNHCR, 2012). These conflicts took place both in the refugee camp and in villages in the host community. Many of these conflicts have started from smaller incidents and then escalated. According to the respondents the main causes behind these conflicts relate to issues such as dispute over land, inter-marriage issues and the problems of food shortage in the host community. Conflicts between refugees and people from the host community are still frequent although smaller in scale according to the majority of the hosts.

Community conflicts mentioned by the host community respondents are also confirmed by other sources such as UNHCR and various humanitarian news reports. UNHCR (2005) confirms big conflicts between the host community and Sudanese refugees in Kakuma in 2003 and 2004. The fighting which started in 2003 included the murders of 11 people, burning of houses and incidents of rape. Paramilitary troops from the General Service Unit were present during this conflicting period and withdrew in late 2004. The IRIN humanitarian news and analysis (2006) described increasing tensions and conflicts between hosts and refugees in 2006 involving several killings.

Many people from the host community approach the camp in search for food and water which themselves are lacking. The perception from the majority of the hosts is that this is an area where disputes and conflicts between locals and refugees often start for different reasons (IRIN, 2006).

Respondents from areas close to the Kakuma Camp testified that they experienced several large conflicts during the early years of 2000. In 2004 there was a conflict between Natir village and refugees from the Sudanese Dinka community that started from an inter-marriage issue (UNHCR, 2012). The incident escalated into a large community conflict that lasted for several days and forced several of the Natir residents to relocate from their village until the conflict ended. Another conflict in 2006 is also mentioned by respondents from both Nadapal and Natir. The conflict was believed to have started from a dispute over land between refugees and hosts living near the Tarach River bank. The conflict is described to have included incidents of rape, gunshots and killings both in the camp and villages.

Several residents from Natir, Nadapal and Kalmechuch villages describe that conflict situations often take place when locals are working for refugees. It can be dangerous especially for women to go to the camp looking for work or selling items such as firewood. Women can easily be assaulted, exploited, raped and even killed if they are in the camp by themselves according to the respondents. Two residents from American village explained that disputes often starts when locals are working for refugees and they disagree over the amount of food or money they are supposed to be paid (UNHCR, 2012).

Geographically Kakuma is located in a very remote area traditionally featured by insecurity, lack of rule of law and weak governance (Crisp, 2003). Therefore media coverage is also limited. The lack of government and security presence (before the refugee camp) in Kakuma has made the reporting of criminal activities by the host community rare. This is common in many remote pastoralist communities where tribes are armed with firearms and solve disputes with neighbouring tribes over such incidents as cattle rustling (McCabe, 2003). Therefore finding additional sources on individual conflicts (outside the refugee camp) such as described by respondents above is difficult.

2.5 Factors that support Coexistence and Constructive Collaborations between Hosts and Refugees

The most common situation of collaboration is when locals are working for refugees in the camp, and at the business and market places in the camp. These are areas where locals and refugees interact and to some extent collaborate. Some have even created friendships and participate together in other social activities (Bartolomei et al., 2003). Inter-marriages and peace building meetings are other areas that potentially can bring people from the host community and refugees closer together according to residents from Natir and Nadapal. Although residents from all villages identify some central areas where collaborations may take place, the majority emphasized that there is nevertheless limited collaboration between the host and refugees at community levels. Several of the residents’ pointed out the need for more involvement from the Kenyan government and NGO actors in peace building activities for improving the relationship. Many of the residents claim that collaboration between refugees and the host community has improved over time, as there previously was no form of collaboration between them. Collaboration between hosts and refugees tends to take place on the individual rather than the community level (Bartolomei et al., 2003).

By bringing together host communities and refugees, and through their collaboration, existing capacities within competing groups can be identified and further developed, thereby leading to mutual respect and positive interdependencies. Moreover, such collaborations provide the foundation for resource-sharing and collective decision-making, thus reducing tensions among the target groups (UN Trust for Human Security, no date).

The conflicting relationship between hosts and refugees in Kakuma emphasizes the importance of identifying main sources that are creating conflict and coexistence in the relationship for achieving a peacefully relationship (UNHCR, 2012). The combination of limited livelihood opportunities in the host community and imbalance of humanitarian assistance are the greatest challenges for promoting more coexistence. Some collaboration between host and refugees are identified at individual levels through socio-economic impacts and humanitarian initiatives. Nevertheless, situations of conflict in the relationship are more common and a challenge towards coexistence.

Interactions between refugees and the communities hosting them are a reality when refugee camps are established. Understanding and knowledge of these relationships is of great importance for ensuring a sustainable and peaceful coexistence between them. Jacobsen (2002) emphasizes the need for finding ways for humanitarian assistance to increase economic security in refugee hosting areas by supporting livelihoods and ensuring the rights and well-being for both the host community and refugee population. As other literature reveals on the issue Jacobsen (2002) also confirms the broad complex set of challenges affecting both locals and refugees in such given situations. Solutions for benefitting both host communities and refugees may be found within collaborative involvement from both parts in addition to external actors.

Jacobsen (2002) emphasizes the importance of supporting livelihoods in conflict areas with humanitarian aid including both emergency relief inputs as well as long-term livelihood support. Specifically, long-term support should reach both refugees and the host community for enhancing and promoting coexistence. Proactive measures in the implementing phase are equally important in the sense of analyzing before implementing. In such situations donors and humanitarian agencies should identify and consult local actors familiar with the political and security context of the area in how to best implement and distribute programs (Jacobsen 2002).

People of the hosting communities experience similar difficult living conditions and conflict situations to refugees. Therefore is it equally important to address them as well for promoting coexistence and avoiding situations of conflict. As addressed by Chambers (1986), Jacobsen (2002), Crisp (2003) and others is it important to have more knowledge and understandings of the relationship between refugees and host communities in reach for pursuing more sustainable solutions that are acceptable for both.

Nevertheless, it should be added that the role of humanitarian agencies also have the possibility to be a source promoting coexistence channel between the two parties. If the host community is also recognized at some level and benefits or at least not feel like losing out to the refugee presence this may also be a mechanism for creating coexistence with the refugee population. Jacobsen (2002) proposes such a theory. The author emphasizes that if livelihood support by humanitarian agencies are empowering both refugees and the host community this can have a positive impact on their relationship. To include both parties in humanitarian assistance is according to Jacobsen (2002) of great importance for promoting a peaceful relationship between host communities and refugees.

Jacobsen (2002) does claim that economic impacts of refugee influx are mixed and also have the possibility to gain host communities. According to her, refugees can also contribute to economic stimuli to the area, in such may it also promote coexistence and improve the relationship. The theory by Jacobsen (2002) is supported by Alix-Garcia and Saah (2009) who argue that new market opportunities for locals to benefit from through trade with refugees promotes interaction and coexistence in the relationship.

Experiences of collaboration and positive relations between hosts and refugees have been mixed. The majority of host residents state that such experiences have been limited. Many request more initiatives from the government and NGOs in peace building for improving the relationship. On the other hand, several host residents mention that they collaborate with refugees when working for them in business and at marketplaces inside the camp. A few residents have also created friendships with refugees and some inter-marriages have also taken place (Bartolomei et al., 2003).

The research reveals that one of the main sources creating collaboration and promoting coexistence in the host-refugee relationship is socio-economic. Common areas where hosts and refugees meet and benefit through interaction is reported to promote some level of collaboration. These are areas were socio-economic benefits are experienced (in different levels) by both communities such as through business, trading, workplace and schools. Theories on how economic impacts can promote coexistence are also supported by Jacobsen (2002) and Alex-Garcia and Saah (2009).

The paradox is that several of the same areas and impacts that promote coexistence also create conflict (Maystadt and Verwimps, 2009). The challenge then is to enable these impacts to promote more coexistence than conflict. For example, the socio-economic opportunities of the camp have had a positive impact on the host community. Nevertheless, conflicts are often reported to start in areas of business and trade. Improving the social interactions at these areas is crucial for achieving more coexistence.

2.6 Recommendations to resolve perceived negative impact of Refugees

The humanitarian organizations should be able to, as Chambers (1986) puts it, distinguish different categories among host communities, especially those who are poorer, more vulnerable and more likely to be hurt by refugee competition. In this way durable solutions would be sought to mitigate if not eradicate the negative implications for the host communities.

Another major strategy to mitigating the impact of refugee situations on host communities is the concept of burden sharing. This is when the international and donor agencies acknowledge the burden refugees place on host countries and their communities and offer a helping hand to include hosts as well. This as stated by Gallagher (1994) implies that the international community is obliged to support host countries, which assist and protect refugees while durable solutions are sought. In designing and implementing development programmes in refugee-host communities the lessons of past experiences such as the case in question should help improve performance. It is the opinion of many refugee authors that unless national and international refugee institutions deliberately include many hosts in their relief programmes, services and development, they will be hurt at the expense of being hosts while refugees are supported in various ways.

It is also very sad that most refugees even with the necessary skills and expertise are unemployed due to the high rate of unemployment in host countries. This situation has resulted in various implications for the local hosts. It is therefore vital that refugee agencies and their operational partners help to promote employment opportunities for them so that they can contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country as a whole and the host communities in particular. This would call for refugees to be housed among the general population, away from camps, which tend to concentrate problems within the camps (Maystadt and Verwimps, 2009).

Berry (2008) discusses conflict resolution meetings organised by two NGOs (CARE International and Relief to Development Society (REDESO)) working in refugee camps in North-western Tanzania between 2004 and 2006. She notes that ‘what is particularly significant and useful about these meetings is that they not only allow for discussion about problems or conflicts between the refugees and local communities, but also promote working together to come up with solutions’ (Berry 2008:15). Some participants stated that these meetings were useful not only in terms of resolving specific conflicts between host and refugee communities but also more generally in building social relationships between the two groups. This was particularly important in a context where Tanzanian refugee law effectively prevented any kind of positive interaction between the two communities.

Martin (2005) stresses that environmental management programmes should promote an inclusive and open process since imposing inappropriate frameworks can easily stimulate rather than prevent conflict. He states that it is important that agencies are flexible in their approach and that they take advantage of pre-existing institutional strength (such as camp environmental management committees). Externally-promoted processes should be ‘sufficiently flexible to take advantage of pre-existing institutional strength’ (Martin, 2005). A UNHCR peace education in Kenya stated that mediation techniques that produce long-term positive outcomes for all involved are more effective than more intrusive methods with less durable outcomes.

Indeed, engaging the host community more extensively in producing goods for the refugees, while also supporting joint refugee–host community business enterprises, could provide tangible economic benefits to the host communities, creating new consumers for local goods, generating jobs, and spurring local economic activity (Konyndykis, 2005). By ensuring that refugees receive adequate protection, host governments enable urban refugees to establish more assertive and equitable relations with the local host community. It also limits the development of relationships that are structured around refugee fear or concern over their situations, which increases the risks of exploitation and abuse of refugees by the local host population.

Socio-cultural impacts such as inter-marriages and learning of language and culture has also contributed to better understandings between the communities. Although these impacts have likely developed from interactions at the socio-economic forums mentioned above. In addition, improving conditions for trade and employment between hosts and refugees may be one approach. Disputes over payment or price indicate that there are some communication problems regarding these issues. Hosts feel that their services are unfairly appreciated while refugees on the other hand have a very limited economy to pay for these services. Fixed prices on services such as firewood, jobs, carrying food rations and others could contribute to limit misunderstandings in trade and business (Maystadt and Verwimps, 2009).

Initiatives from humanitarian and government actors are a demand from both hosts and refugees for enhancing their relationship. As mentioned by both hosts and refugees such initiatives as peace building have been positive for both parts. These initiatives bring people from both communities together, sharing experiences and learning from each other. This promotes both interaction and collaboration to resolve disputes and conflicts between them. Evidence shows that humanitarian initiatives such as creating education and health care opportunities that are available to both hosts and refugees have had a positive impact on their relationship. Therefore, improving initiatives can lead to more collaboration and further improve coexistence in the relationship. From a host, refugee and external actors’ point of view these initiatives are too rare, but the positive potential is there as expressed by both hosts and refugees (Jacobsen, 2002).

2.7 Summary of Literature Review

The literature review addressed various aspects of the topic, beginning with an introduction, followed by an investigation of the kind of relationship between the Turkana community and the refugee population. This preceded an inquiry into the real and perceived impact of the refugees presence on the socio-cultural and economic structure of the Kakuma host community, and then the effects of refugee camp and refugees influx on household viability of the Kakuma host community. The review then addressed the main factors that create tension and conflict between the host community of Kakuma and the refugee population of Kakuma Camp, and the main factors that support coexistence and constructive collaborations between the host community of Kakuma and the refugee population of Kakuma Camp. Finally, the literature review came up with a number of recommendations that may serve as solutions to the perceived negative impact of the presence of the refugees on the Kakuma community.



3.0 Introduction

The chapter outlines the methodology, procedures and modalities of data collection. It also covers research design, determination and identification of the population sample size, sampling procedure, the instruments of data collection, validity and reliability of instruments, sources of data, methods of data collection and methods of analyzing the data.

3.1 Study Area

Kakuma refugee camp is located in Turkana district, one of the remotest parts of Kenya. The area and its residents are afflicted by famines, droughts, and severe economic setbacks, making it impossible for them to eke out a minimum living. The camp was established in 1992 owing to the plight of about 30,000 to 40,000 Sudanese who were forcefully returned to Sudan when the Ethiopian regime of Mengistu was toppled in 1991. The camp has urban refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia as well as pastoralist refugees of Sudanese, Somali, Ugandan, and Ethiopian origin.

The high refugee population forced the Government of Kenya (GoK) to adopt the encampment policy, which brought together Sudanese, Ethiopians and Eritreans, Congolese, Rwandans and Burundians and Ugandans refugees. The hosts are nomadic pastoralists who depend on cattle for their survival. They are among the 43 per cent of Kenya’s population that live in absolute poverty and their basic needs have remained unmet for decades. They, inter alia, depend on missionary aid for education and health. In Kakuma, one notices the almost complete absence of the GoK save for the police post, which was constructed by the UNHCR to protect refugees from alleged hostilities of their hosts, and the District Officer (DO) who mainly signs travel documents (TDs) for refugees temporarily leaving the camp. Turkana district is evidently marginalized in developmental terms. Its inhabitants are an ethnic minority who are under-represented politically with limited economic resources.

3.2 Research Design

This study adopted multi-method qualitative approach in order to facilitate cross-checking of data, which increase reliability. These were done to solicit their views, opinions and comments on the economic and socio-cultural impact of the refugees on the Kakuma host community. This is to ensure that the studied community would be a subject of the research but not used merely as passive objects of the study because most study communities seem to be tired of research primarily because of their experience of being treated as objects (Smith 1999,). Researchers have taken extensive indigenous knowledge away and have given little or nothing back to the study of communities who have been used as sources of information (Smith and Porsanger, 2004). This research avoided that during the fieldwork by engaging in a participatory research by including or consulting the study community, so that they figured not as object but rather as participants or subject primary method of research was informal interviewing and observation. During the engagement the researcher played on the role of listener and asked the natives about the impact of the refugees since the arrival and their current situation, which was followed up with questions, that seemed important to my topic. Relying on qualitative approaches to data collection such as participant observation and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussion seemed a more appropriate way for data collection.

3.3 Target Population

A population consists of all elements-individuals, items, or object-whose characteristics are being studied. The population that is being studied is also called the target population. A population refers to the group of people or study subjects who are similar in one or more ways and which forms the subject of the study in a particular survey (Leedy, 2005). The population refers to the group of study subjects that are similar in one or more ways and which form the subject of the study in a particular survey. The target population for this study comprised refugees, camp officials, UNHCR staffs and Turkana host community.

3.4 Sampling procedures and Sample size

Selecting a sampling frame is the next step after determining the target population. A sampling frame is the list of elements from which the sample may be drawn (Bless and Higson-Smith (2000:86). Sampling in a research is a procedure of selecting a part of population on which research can be conducted, which ensures that conclusions from the study can be generalized to the entire population (Neuman, 2000). Creswell, (2003) argues that the main factor to consider in determining the sampling frame is the need to keep it manageable enough. Sampling is a process of selecting a part of population on which research was conducted, in order to ensure that conclusions from the study may be generalized to the entire population. The study used snowball purposeful sampling technique to get a depth understanding of different impact of the refugees and the refugee camp on the Host community. The study adopted snowball sampling technique to pick respondents from the target population for the required sample for this study. Snowball sampling (or chain sampling, chain-referral sampling, referral sampling (Goodman 1961) is a non-probability sampling technique where existing study subjects recruit future subjects from among their acquaintances.

3.5 Research instrument

The research is based on both primary and secondary information. Primary data is collected from the members of the host community in the surrounding areas of the refugee camp. The main method of data collection is through interview and questionnaire. Observation of the life of the host community is also important to have a full understanding. A personal (face to face) interview using translator used to obtain good information from the respondents. The respondents are asked to provide information through cooperation process. This enables depth and detail information about the research. So, the primary data collected from the participants through administered questionnaire. The research employs two translators. Then it took a half day training before data collection begin.

3.5.1 Questionnaires

To attain the stated objectives, the data collected from primary as well as secondary sources. Questionnaires answered by the selected people and personal interviews conduct in order to fill the gaps. The semi-structured questionnaire was prepared both in Kiswahili and English. Secondary data was also obtained from UNHCR and other NGOs which work in the area in the relation to refugees. Website and internet source also the other source of data for research.

Kothari, (2009) argues that questionnaires are efficient as a research tool because the researcher is likely to obtain personal ideas from a respondent. Pre-testing of questionnaires in the field was used as a means of improving the quality of questions before the main study. The Questionnaire was intended to capture the perception of the respondents on the economic and socio-cultural impact of refugees on the Kenyan communities in Kakuma Camp. It was divided into two parts: Part A will be on demographic information; Part B was based on research questions where respondents expressed the extent to which they agree or disagree with ideas expressed in the items. The respondents answered the questionnaires by expressing their opinions where the responses were made on a five-point Likert scale ranging from (Strongly agree Agree, Neutral, and Disagree and strongly disagree). A sample of the questionnaire was provided as an appendix

3.5.2 Interview

Apart from use of questionnaires, individualized in-depth interviews was used to collect data from the respondents in their natural settings. According to Skinner (2007) in-depth interviews is the most common form of qualitative data collection as it uncovers issues in much greater detail. Interview was one of the effective methods used during the data collection. The interview was based on purposive. This is to make sure that the people who were engaged were the right people to interview because of time constraint. The individual interviews were conducted with people in the community and the camp as well as students from both sides. Also, key informant interviews were done, which include the Turkana district assemble coordinator and the commandant of Kakuma refugee camp.

The researcher probed for details base on what the participants’ responses. Even though, in-depth interview are regarded positively, limitation in their use has been reported in that there may a tendency of general lack of originality on the side of the participants related to what they say as lacking true reflection of what they feel (Gruger & Casy, 2000). In view of this possibility the researcher took necessary steps to gain the confidence of every participant before the interview. Some of the strategies to gain confidence of the participant: proper articulation of research aims and objectives, assurance of confidentiality and declaration of their freedom to withdraw at any point, should they no longer want to continue.

3.5.3 Documentary analysis

The researcher used document analysis method to assess the economic and socio-cultural impact of refugees on the Kenyan communities in Kakuma Camp. Information was gathered from website of UNHCR, Internet, textbooks, government publications, unpublished research works and journals. Also, acknowledged authorities within the area of study provided valuable materials for this study. This account was based on archival research directed mainly at primary documents, both from government, UNHCR and NGOs sources.

3.6 Reliability and Validity of Research Instruments

In order to lessen the danger of obtaining inaccurate answer to research questions emphasis on two particular research designs were considered: reliability and validity (Saunders et al. 2007). Validity is the ability of a chosen instrument to measure what it is suppose to measure. Reliability is the extent to which research results would be stable or consistent if the same technique is repeatedly. Moreover the way the measuring is conducted and how the information is processed affects the outcome of research (Fraenkel and Wallen, 2000).

3.6.1 Reliability of Research Instruments

Reliability was used to construct reliable measurement scales, to improve existing scales, and to assess the reliability of scales already in use. Specifically, reliability aids in the design and evaluation of sum scales, that is, scales that are made up of multiple individual measurements. In order to reflect the reliability of the whole instrument, correlation was done using Pearson product-moment correlation to establish the consistency of the instruments. The results obtain from the two similar samples showed the reliability of the questionnaires and therefore the instrument was used for the final study. Those items which were found to be inadequate were modified to improve the quality of the research instrument, thus increasing its reliability.

3.6.2 Validity of Research Instruments

Validity is the degree with which a test measures what it actually wishes to measure. In this study, the question of whether there is a relationship between economic and socio-cultural impact of refugees and the Kenyan communities. Validity shows whether the items measure what they were designed to measure (Borg and Gall, 1989). After the first stage of collecting data, the researcher visited the same study area and administers the same questionnaires to the same selected sample. Scores from the first stage was correlated with scores from the second stage.

3.7 Data collection procedures

The study was facilitated through a letter of introduction from the researcher. The letter confirmed that the research was solely meant for academic purposes. Permission to conduct research was sought from the Turkana district and Ministry of Education. The permit was used to secure permission from the respondents to be involved in the study. The researcher visited the study area before hand for familiarization and acquaintance with targeted respondents. During this visit, the researcher informed the respondents about the purpose of the intended study and book appointments for the data collection. After familiarization, data was collected from the respondents using the three mentioned instruments. The research assistance was requested to assist in the distribution and collection of the questionnaires from the respondents. The completed instruments was verified and collected by the researcher from the research assistance within a period of five days from the day of distribution. The data collection process takes three months.

3.8 Data Analysis and presentation of findings

The data for the study was adopted and coded for completeness and accuracy. The data was a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods. The coded data was transferred to a computer sheet and processed using a suitable statistical program to analyze both descriptive and inferential statistics. The important statistical measures were used to summarize and categorize the research data such as: means, percentages, frequencies, minimum, maximum and standard deviations. Descriptive tools were supplemented by qualitative analytical methods (mainly for those data acquired through the participatory/qualitative methods) like interpretation and explanation of various opinions, views and concepts; and summarizing, categorizing, and presentation of these in convenient forms. The results of the data gave the researcher a basis to make conclusions about the study.

3.9 Ethical and legal considerations

Data from the fieldwork come primarily from Kakuma natives as well as refugees whose comments have informed the research. The informants were selected based on the reliable information gathered from field assistants and not just selected randomly. The study concern thought has been to maintain the highest ethical standards and avoid any distress to both the community and the camp inhabitants. Intensive fieldwork was conducted in the Kakuma community over a period of three month.

3.10 Chapter Summary

Chapter three describes the methodology used in investigating the economic and socio-cultural impact of refugees on the Kenyan communities in Kakuma camp. The chapter explains the research setting, the study design, the sample size, the research instrument, the procedure followed in obtaining the information, the analysis used to interpret the information and the ethical issues.


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