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Governors welcome government’s move to increase refugee hosting funds

Turkanas’ Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai and his Garissa counterpart Nadhif Jama have welcomed an initiative by State Department of Housing and Urban Development to increase funding towards refugee hosting towns in the upcoming phase of World Bank Funded Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP).

According to a dispatch from Governor Lomorukai press, during a joint meeting with the State Department, World Bank and UNHCR, Lomorukai explained that the move would accelerate efforts in upgrading Kakuma- Kalobeyei municipality to the desired status and enhance service delivery to the host and refugee communities residing in the area.

Noting that Lodwar had immensely benefitted from the first phase of KUSP through the receipt of street lights, cabro pavements, demarcated parking lots and fire station facilities, Governor Lomorukai expressed confidence that the special allocation to the refugee hosting towns would equally elevate Kakuma Kalobeyei and equip the area with social amenities for the ever growing population of refugees and the host communities.

The Governor reiterated that his Government had already initiated investments to upgrade Kakuma Kalobeyei in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and World Bank Funded, International Finance Cooperation (IFC) long before the announcement of the additional funding and promised to accelerate the same with the new source of funds moving forward.

Garissa’s Governor Nadhif Jama whose county also hosts one of the refugee town at Dadaab, joined Governor Lomorukai in expressing confidence over the Counties’ ability to manage the funding approximated to be about Sh6 billion over the five years’ implementation period.

According to Governor Jama, both Kakuma-Kalobeyei and Daadab have witnessed massive environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and depletion of underground water resources due to population increase and promised to channel part of the additional funding towards greening projects and expansion of water access infrastructures.

Other speakers during the meeting emphasized the need to work within Kenya’s legal framework for the management of host-refugee relations and the paradigm shift from viewing refugees as a burden to the view that they are an economic resource whose presence adds to the economic value of the area.

The two Governors were accompanied by their respective Executives for Urban Areas’ Management, Municipality Managers and procurement staff involved in the implementation of KUSP programmes.

By Peter Gitonga



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