Daadab, Kenya, 8 March-- UN-Habitat, in collaboration with Garissa County Government, led a semi-virtual workshop to discuss the future of the decommissioned refugee camps within Dadaab Refugee Complex - Ifo 2 and Kambioos under a project focusing on enhancing self-reliance for refugee and host communities in Kenya, funded by the European Union Trust Fund. Garissa County Government Officials and staff, representatives of refugee and host communities, UN agency representatives, and EU donor representatives were all present.

Garissa County Secretary Mr Abdi S. Muhumed officially launched the workshop and noted that the office of the Governor was finalising plans to launch the Garissa Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan (GISEDP), which will assist in integrating refugees into the host community, scheduled for May 2021.

Director of Physical Planning, Mary Mwangi, presented the objectives of GISEDP, emphasising the plan to enhance inclusion of host and refugee communities through providing adequate access to land, urban services, and housing and infrastructure. She also highlighted the need to promote the economic growth of Dadaab through alternative sustainable livelihoods and increased financial access.

Through a visioning exercise run by UN-Habitat, participants were asked to brainstorm on what they wished Ifo 2 and Kambioos to be like in 2030, while also reflecting on what aspects of the camps should be preserved.  Recurring themes included the reuse and conversion of existing infrastructure into facilities that are in-demand, investment in infrastructure to support livestock-based livelihoods and the cultivation of a greenbelt for agriculture.

Investment in water infrastructure and upgrading of Garissa-Dadaab road were recurring needs from all stakeholders, with the point made that children were dropping out of school in part due to the time it took to collect water. Investment in a breadth of education infrastructure was also a major theme, from primary and secondary schools to a technical training center. These education facilities were suggested for use by both host and refugee communities.

The community emphasised their desire to continue engaging throughout the planning process of Ifo 2 and Kambioos. The workshop concluded with an introduction to a socio-economic survey which UN-Habitat will conduct in the Dadaab area in April.

Representing the EU, Elizabeth Magnes spoke of the Fund’s ongoing support for displacement affected communities and commitment to planning and design efforts around the Dadaab Camps.