Kenya: Rapid emergency shelter and livelihoods assessment


Post-election violence in the wake of Kenya's December 27, 2007 presidential election triggered a severe humanitarian crisis and displaced half a million people. Although security conditions have improved following the February 28 agreement between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), IDPs and host communities have been severely affected and significant humanitarian needs remain. This assessment report summarizes the main findings and recommendations of CHF International's assessment of shelter and livelihood conditions among the affected population.

Main findings and recommendations

- Without rapid progress to improve security, implement a durable political agreement and provide assistance to enable destitute IDPs to rebuild their homes and livelihoods, a significant number of IDPs are likely to remain in camps for an extended period.

- Existing shelters in camps as well as in host communities are overcrowded. This poses significant health and security risks to the occupants.

- While some upgrades have occurred, in many IDP camps emergency shelters need to be upgraded to provide adequate protection from rain.

- Urgent action is required to address inadequate drainage and the risk of flooding during the rainy season in IDP sites throughout Kenya.

- Flexible ways to support the livelihoods and income of IDPs and host communities are needed- This is essential both to meet immediate needs, but also to promote early recovery and mitigate long-term destitution.

- Some IDPs lack shelter altogether in spite of the efforts of relief agencies. These groups are highly vulnerable and need immediate assistance.

- Land ownership and documentation of land ownership amongst the displaced population is a significant issue. Efforts to assist IDPs who have lost their land title or other documentation are needed.

- Transitional shelters need to be constructed utilizing locally accessible materials and techniques. This will both reduce cost and enable households to add to the structures in the future.

- Transitional shelter and livelihoods interventions should take into account inflationary pressures and potential disruptions to the supply of construction materials in small local markets.

- Conflict resolution and peace building need to be integrated into all programming.