Kenya + 1 more

Dadaab comprehensive intentions and cross border movement monitoring; Dadaab Refugee Complex, Garissa county,Kenya, December 2019



As of November 2019, a total of 217,108 mostly Somali refugees reside in Dadaab refugee complex (Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo). Above 80% of households (HH) have lived in Dadaab for over eight years. With humanitarian funding significantly reduced in the last few years, there is a need to continue understanding the future return intentions and movement patterns of vulnerable refugees. This information is essential to inform prioritization and identification of vulnerable populations. Since May 2017, REACH has worked with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and humanitarian partners in Dadaab on developing tools and methodologies for data collection and analysis of needs in Dadaab refugee complex. In July 2019, REACH conducted an intentions survey in Dadaab refugee complex where 52% of HHs, reported that they were not willing to return to their country of origin mainly due to fear of conflict and insecurity. Despite the ongoing voluntary repatriation (volrep) programme by the Government of Kenya with support from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were reported spontaneous returns to Somalia which ended up coming back to Dadaab . This situation overview presents findings of comprehensive intentions and cross border movement monitoring conducted in December 2019 across the three camps of Dadaab refugee complex.

Key Findings

  • A higher proportion (16%) of HHs reported that they were likely or certain to return to their country of origin as compared with the assessment conducted in July 2019 where only 10% of HHs were certain or likely to return to their country of origin. Seventy per cent (70%) of these HHs cited potential closure of the camp as the main reason. In addition to potential closure of the camp, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) participants also reported fear of being relocated to Kakuma and desire to be reunited with their family members in Somalia as major reasons for considering to return to their areas of origin

  • Half of the HHs reported that they would return to their country of origin if the conflict ended and if income opportunities as well as education and health services became available. The proportion of HHs that would return to their country of origin if certain conditions were met has significantly increased from 38% to 50% since July 2019 mainly because there has been increased rumors of potential camp closure and relocation of non-Somali refugees to Kakuma refugee camp. Some FGD participants reported that they would prefer to return to their country of origin instead of being relocated to Kakuma refugee camp.

  • Alien Identity Card (ID) is the top reported ID possessed by HH members in the camps and individual interview respondents at the bus termini in Dadaab. Almost a quarter (23%) of the HHs reported that the alien ID cards of at least one member of their HH had expired at the time of data collection. Forty-four per cent (44%) of these, reported that their sim cards had been deactivated by the service providers as a consequence. This reportedly was a challenge for HH members to access mobile banking services which is the most commonly used mean of money transfer in the camps.

  • The majority (85%) of individual interview respondents reported that they had not registered for volrep with UNHCR or Kenyan authorities mainly because they returned to Somalia temporarily and did not want to lose their refugee status.

  • • FGD participants reported various protection issues experienced by persons in transit, including rape, beating, robbery with violence and harassment by drivers and touts. They also reported that pregnant or lactating women, chronically ill persons, elderly people and children aged below 18 years were travelling alone.