Host community and refugees – a healthy relationship? : Field study on the effects of the refugee influx on the host community in Kakuma, Kenya.

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: This thesis examines the impacts of the refugee influx on the host community in Kakuma, Kenya. This is done by a field study, in February-March 2016, with an abductive qualitative method, using semi-structured interviews. Interviews have been conducted with both refugees and members of the host community along with external actors in order to provide a more in-depth understanding of both the positive and negative impacts the refugees have had. The analysis was conducted using an analytical framework with a point of departure from Chambers theory on the Hidden Losers from 1986 and looking at five dimensions of impacts the refugees might have on the hosting community. This is used to better understand the co-existence between the refugees and the host community. The findings shows that there are both positive and negative impacts on the host community due to the refugee influx. There have been an important economic and social development in the remote and resource scarce area Kakuma. This has provided the local population with more services like education and medical service. At the same time there are many more people sharing limited resources which is a major cause of conflict, especially given the lack of water and food.   The future for the refugees and the host community is uncertain. Kenya has said (in May 2016) they till close the refugee camps due to environmental degradation, economic strains and security issues. How this will affect the people concerned is at this time to early so say. 

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