Kakuma Refugee Camp

by Ian Maclellan

I’m working hard to get as many pictures up as possible from the camp, but am starting to get very tired after my 20 hour journey on buses and matatus back to Kisumu… The camp is absolutely nothing like you would ever think a refugee camp would be. Seriously. Unless you are much better read on modern campĀ situationsĀ or have actually been to a camp recently, you probably thought that the camps were walled in areas with UNHCR tents everywhere. Instead you enter into the camp without being stopped by any guard and you arrive into a “urban area” of the camp, the Somali Market. Here you can do foreign exchange, buy perfume, surf the web, play pool, and rent power from private “power companies.” You quickly realize that this camp is not a temporary answer to the political problems and wars in East Africa, but a warehouse for the minorities and asylum seekers of Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Southern Sudan, Western Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. I am going to be writing a story on Kanere, a free refugee newspaper that has managed to stir up a lot of trouble for itself because the UNHCR doesn’t want it to exist.

I’ll write more tonight, but have to head home before it gets too late. Oi that place is insane.

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Abdullahi’s Madrasa, where young children learn to memorize and repeat the whole Quran.

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Many of the wealthy residents of the camp have satellite television.

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Inside a Somali movie theater.

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The view of the camp from above.

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Pigeon house

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Satellite modems hanging wildly on the wall