UNHCR to mitigate environmental destruction caused by refugees

Editor's Pick Garissa
Head of Operations at UNHCR Dadaab, Jean Bosco Rushatsi addressing the press at Dagahley Refugee camp during celebrations to mark World Refugee Day Wednesday. He said UNHCR will soon hand over infrastructure worth Sh. 1.1 billion to the Kenya government and the host community after closure of 2 camps.

United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) is sourcing funds from donor countries to mitigate the environment degradation caused by the refugees in Dadaab, head of operation, Jean Bosco Rushatsi Wednesday said.

Rushatsi said that UNHCR was not compensating the host community, but it was making the contribution, since the refugee problem is a shared responsibility.

Speaking in Dagahaley refugee camp where celebrations to mark 2018’s Refugee day were held, Rushasti said they have used the ‘little resources’ at their disposal to develop green fields in Ifo 2 and Kambi Os refugee camps.

“UNHCR is not in any way compensating the host community because the destruction caused by the refugees cannot be quantified. This is a gesture to the community for hosting the refugees for over 25 years,” Rushatsi said during the celebrations marked annually. The theme for this year is‘We stand with refugees’

“These are our sisters and brothers running away from conflict. We have a shared responsibility to host them,” he added.

The head of operations concurred with environmentalists that Dadaab degradation was a major concern to the UNHCR and that was the reason they have come with proposals to the donor community for assistance.

Refuges who spoke to the press among them three brothers from South Sudan who were transferred from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana in 2014 to Dagahaley said the skills and knowledge they acquired at the camps in Kenya will assist them to pick up their lives again.

John Molu 19, blamed ignorance among the South Sudanese saying this has cost many lives of innocent people through unending civil war.

“I can’t imagine going back to the very people who killed both of our parents during power strive between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar,” he said.

His younger brother, Tonney Ensama said he found peace at the camps and he is currently pursuing his education.

“Although home is the best place to grow up, we can’t help as our leaders pursue their selfish interests at the expense of their citizenry,” he said.

By Jacob Songok

Leave a Reply