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Location of Kakuma in Kenya
Kakuma Refugee Camp, block 2
School children, 2011
School children in Kakuma refugee camp

Kakuma is a town in the northwestern Turkana County, Kenya. It is the site of a refugee camp established in 1991. The complex comprises four parts (Kakuma I-IV), and is managed by the Kenyan government and the Kenyan Department of Refugee Affairs in conjunction with the UNHCR. As of June 2015, the site hosts around 185,000 people, mostly migrants from the civil war in South Sudan.[1] Many people in Kakuma are long-term refugees, living in hopelesness and desperation. The situation is particularly bad for young people.[2]

Dust storms frequently pass through the Kakuma area. Malnutrition, communicable disease outbreaks, and malaria are all ongoing problems, while donor support has faltered due to conflicts in other parts of the world.[3] Many of the refugees hope to leave Kakuma for resettlement in another country such as the USA and Canada. For example, the "Lost Boys of Sudan" were a special group who were resettled from the camp to the U.S. in recent years.

On 6 May 2016, the Kenyan government announced it would close Kakuma as well as the refugee camp at Dadaab. The government declared it had already disbanded its Department of Refugee Affairs as part of the move. Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Karanja Kibicho declared, "Due to Kenya's national security interest, the government has decided that hosting of refugees has to come to an end. The government acknowledges that this decision will have adverse effects on the lives of refugees but Kenya will no longer be hosting them."[4]

Famous residents[edit]


  1. ^ "U.N. expands refugee camp in Kenya as South Sudan conflict rages". Reuters. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Raphael Sungu. "Frozen lives Kakuma is known too to have raised many people of value who apparently back to their home countries especially South Sudan". D+C Development and Cooperation. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Food Supplies Dwindle At Kenya Refugee Camp; IRC Raises Concern in Washington". International Rescue Committee. 4 June 2002. 
  4. ^ Agutu, Nancy (2016-05-06). "Refugees must go, Kenya says". The Star. Kenya. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°43′N 34°52′E / 3.717°N 34.867°E / 3.717; 34.867

Primary country

Kenya Other countries Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Congo Côte d'Ivoire Democratic Republic of the Congo Eritrea Ethiopia Guinea Iran (Islamic Republic of) Rwanda Saudi Arabia Somalia South Sudan Sudan Uganda United Republic of Tanzania Yemen Zimbabwe