Kalobeyei, 22 December 2017 – UN-Habitat has been supporting integrated refugee and host communities in Turkana County, Kenya with support from the Government of Japan since 2016. After the successful completion of the spatial development framework, UN-Habitat is engaged in a community stabilization programme aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence and supporting the host and refugee communities in seizing opportunities from the development of Kalobeyei Settlement. One of the key activities is the construction of a community centre in the heart of Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement.

The representative of Japan, Mr. Ito Yo visited the construction site and talked to the site engineers and constructors.  To date, over 30 people from both refugee and host communities have been trained in building construction, and more than 40 local labourers have been hired for the construction. A further 9 people from both communities are currently undergoing on-the-job training on production and use of interlocking concrete blocks.  This technology, which has already been used to construct a generator and guard house within the community centre site is anticipated to be a more efficient alternative to construction in the area, in terms of cost, production time and assembly. The centre will be completed in February 2018.

The construction of the centre is being done in partnership with Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) as a multi-use social facility open to both refugee and host communities. The design of the centre was developed based on insights and preferences from both communities. The centre contains a meeting room, library and a computer room, and it is located in the heart of the Kalobeyei New Settlement.  It is based on training refugees and host communities in innovative techniques, appropriate for the local context and supporting job creation, but also ensuring the quality of the construction.