UN-Habitat working together with the host community in Kenya Refugee ProjectKalobeyei, Kenya 2 August 2016-- the Settlement Development Group of Kalobeyei Town teamed up with the UN-Habitat LAB planning experts last week for a participatory planning workshop in Kenya refugee project. The workshop contributes to strengthening the participatory component in supporting spatial planning for Kalobeyei New Site – a new settlement expected to host over 60,000 refugees and host community in Kalobeyei, Turkana County. UN-Habitat is taking the lead in developing a spatial planning of the new site, funded by the Government of Japan. This Settlement Development Group from the host community in Kalobeyei Ward was formed by 12 host community members’ representatives of different social classes and vulnerable groups.

The members will work with UN-Habitat planners inputting the planning component with insights from the host community. The group is identifying the community resource capacity and key priority areas of intervention to support an integrated planning to build resilience for livelihood development. Planners from UN-Habitat made simple illustrations to equip the participants with understanding of planning by linking space and resources. From the discussion, it was evident that cultural practices and the proximity of the main transport corridor define the spatiality of every open space.

The workshop lead to achieving a good understanding the host community`s vision for the development of Kalobeyei Town and surrounding areas, including the integration of host community with the refugee community in Kalobeyei New Site. The participants identified the distribution of facilities in the town on a small scale sketch-map to help the planners understand the use of space and patterns of settlements for the host community in terms of town connectivity, streets layout, schools, hospitals, play grounds, commercial and administration areas. This information will significantly support identifying the areas of convergence and developing key strategies in addressing gaps that may hinder integration.

The working group brought forward pertinent recommendations to development vision calling for inclusive and strategic approach in prioritizing the major areas which to foster integration between the refugee and the host community. The spatial planning component will consider the host community incentive for the development of the town and consequently support sustainable livelihood development.