Garissa Town, Kenya 8 October 2020 - UN-Habitat, in collaboration with the County Government of Garissa, recently hosted the first semi-virtual Stakeholder Engagement Workshop as part of the Advisory Strategy for the Regeneration of Ifo 2 and Kambioos refugee settlements. Attendees included members of Garissa County Assembly Lands Committee, Dadaab and Fafi Sub-Counties, UNHCR and UN-Habitat.

As the first phase of developing the Advisory Strategy for the Regeneration of Ifo 2 and Kambioos, a project funded by the European Union Trust Fund, UN-Habitat has been carrying out a comprehensive spatial assessment of the two camps within the sub-county, county and national contexts. The assessment is helping to inform a profile of the area which both describes and analyses the camps through an urban planning lens with the aim of establishing an evidence base that will be used to develop future interventions and guide future investment.

Screenshot of the workshop presentation and online participants
Screenshot of the workshop presentation and online participants

The purpose of the workshop was to present the findings of the spatial assessment that UN-Habitat has developed so far and receive feedback from the stakeholders. Additionally, a preliminary planning session was carried out to consider the opportunities and challenges that the decommissioned sites present which stimulated lively discussion and constructive action points for further exploration as the planning process gathers momentum. Garissa County Executive Member for Trade, Tourism and Enterprise Development Mr. Adow Kalil Jubat called on participants to contribute tangible ideas in order to create a sustainable development plan that will benefit local communities.

The morning session of the workshop comprised presentations by UN-Habitat on the key messages taken from the spatial assessments, followed by feedback and discussion. In the afternoon session, participants broke off into groups to prepare SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses of Ifo 2 and Kambioos camps.

While various threats and weaknesses were identified for both camps, there was great emphasis on the opportunities the camps presented. These opportunities spanned a wide range of themes including the agricultural potential of existing green belts and orchards, the educational potential of Ifo 2’s underutilized school facilities, the climatic opportunities of harvesting rainwater and solar energy and the economic opportunities of encouraging new small businesses and industries such as bee-keeping in Ifo 2  and bottling of borehole water in Kambioos.

The workshop concluded with discussion of the take-aways and next steps of the project, with emphasis on additional stakeholder engagement which will be undertaken with the support of Garissa County and UNHCR.

The stakeholder workshop was an especially vital component of the project, particularly as COVID-19 has placed limitations upon-the-ground data gathering and fieldwork that was initially planned for this project. In response to travel limitations, UN-Habitat has been remotely developing and digitizing new spatial data which, in addition to contributing to the Ifo 2 and Kambioos spatial profile development, will have the added benefit of providing Garissa County and development agencies with a more extensive database of spatial information in the future. This is due to be developed and validated as part of the field survey due to kick off imminently.