Kenya: Refugees

Isabelle Smeekes

World History -Hjelmgren

5/19/09, period 4



Kenya: Refugees

What is a refugee?  A Refugee is a person has been compelled to leave their own country because of hardship or expelled by their government. Social, political, and economic chaos in a nation often produces many refugees, who subsequently become a problem for the countries to which they flee to for relief, and in this case the country for relief is Kenya (“Kenya: contemporary issues”). The refugees in Kenya have become a big problem. Many of the refugees fled Somalia and settled in Kenya. They are majorly affecting Kenya on negative ways. Two major ways the refugees are disturbing Kenya is by affecting the water supply and by producing many more diseases rapidly. Overall, Kenya is suffering from the large numbers of refugees that are coming to settle from Somalia.

The main water source in Kenya is Mount Kenya; its water supply has been shrinking ever since the 1980s. Too much cultivation and a rapidly growing population (about 7 million or more people rely directly on Mount Kenya’s water) has made the 12 glaciers on Mount Keya recede rapidly and it has caused the snowfall to decrease (“Kenya: contemporary issues”). According to the article Kenya: contemporary issues, “Global warming, droughts, a high population growth rate, and large-scale crop irrigation have combined to severely limit fresh water resources throughout Kenya” (“Kenya: contemporary issues”).  It is obvious that the refugees are taking a toll on the water supply but they are also affecting the diseases in Kenya.

It is apparent that when refugees come from one country to another that they can bring un-wanted diseases with them. Drought and lack of jobs drives the refugees to the cities, where many of them live in slums. Slums are often tightly packed with many people and in addition to that there are often sanitation problems. Shashank Bengali Says That “Two decades of chaos have swelled the Kenyan camps into the world's largest refugee settlement, sheltering 271,000 people on sun- scorched land that was meant to hold only one-third that many. Amid shortages of food, water, health supplies, and clean latrines, aid workers say that the refugees are increasingly vulnerable to outbreaks of disease” (Bengali, Shashank). There was also a cholera outbreak earlier in 2009, but that disease was luckily contained. This spread of diseases will continue if there is no solution to the increase of refugees.

Kenya is still suffering from the large numbers of refugees that are coming to settle from Somalia today. If this issue is not solved soon there can be major consequences. The diseases that are spreading in the slums can eventually spread all over Africa and can end up killing many people. And the lack of water supply has already caused a drought and it can develop into a much larger problem. As said by World Geography, “Kenya’s growth rate estimated at 2.8% annually by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, has resulted in increasing demand for decreasing natural resources,” (“Kenya: contemporary issues”). These problems are affecting everyone in Kenya, and if this continues, it can affect you.







Bengali, Shashank. “Somali Insurgency Driving Thousands of Refugees to  ds;lafjasdjfk;lskfKenya.” E Library. 2009. McClatchy Newspapers. 7 May. 2009. <http://www.elibrary.bigchalk.com> http://ntesx01-lic.nths.net:2067/libweb/elib/do/document?set=search&groupid=1&requestid=lib_standard&resultid=14&edition=&ts=73A189E13FDFB7C850ECF88220B733EF_1242265645894&start=1&urn=urn%3Abigchalk%3AUS%3BBCLib%3Bdocument%3B163709603


*This source was key to my paper because it provided me information about the actual refugee camps.


"Kenya: Contemporary Issues." World Geography. 2009. ABC-CLIO. 13 May ldkf;sa;ljdlfjlsdjfk2009 <http://www.worldgeography.abc-clio.com>.http://ntesx01-lic.nths.net:2105/Countries/Display.aspx?categoryid=59&entryid=1116037&searchtext=kenya's+refugees&type=simple&option=all&filterid=


*This website was important because it provided information on problems all over Kenya and it talked about the refugees in depth and how they are affecting water supply.



Solberg-Ayers, Shari. "Kenya: People." World Geography. 2009. ABC-fadshldshfdffff CLIO.28 Apr. 2008 <http://www.worldgeography.abc-clio.com>. http://www.worldgeography.abc-clio.com/Countries/Display.aspx?categoryid=45&entryid=1114812&searchtext=the+people+of+kenya&type=simple&option=all&filterid=


* This site was helpful because it had good facts and quotes about the population growth and the refugees.

Last updated by Isabelle Smeekes May 22, 2009