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LWF Kenya/Sudan Programme Situation Report Apr 2001

General Situation
The unrest in Kakuma Refugee camp between 2 groups of Sudanese made headline news in the local press. Full details are given in the Kakuma section below. A total of 7 persons were killed and 160 injured following clashes in the camp over the Easter weekend. There were also reports of unrest in Dadaab camp in north east Kenya where 120,000 Somali refugees are located. A 12 year old boy was killed and at least 3 bandits seriously injured in two attacks.

Meanwhile fighting continues in pockets of south Sudan. There were reports that over 250 GoS soldiers were killed following an offensive by the SPLA in southern Blue Nile during April (outside LWF/DWS operational area).

Events in Ethiopia also raised tensions in Kakuma, following clashes between police and thousands of students in Addis Abeba where more than 30 students were reported killed.

On a brighter note, significant rains fell in Turkana during April, especially in the border areas with Uganda. The project areas in Kakuma division experienced equally good rains.

Programme Activities

Strategic Plan 2002-2006

Work continued on the Programme Strategic Planning, with a 4 day workshop from 31st March to 3rd April. Productive discussions were held and by the end of the 4 days a draft version of the Programme Goals, Objectives and Action Plan was prepared before the facilitator departed. A Final Report has now been received (5th May). This will be reviewed and finalised in early May.

Sudan

There are signs of rains beginning. The river Payei between Yirol and Rumbek is still passable but water is rising slowly. The ferry has now been installed and cable connected. Further follow up needs to be made to finalise operational arrangements by the community.

Visit was made by LWR Grants Officer Hugh Ivory and LWF K/S Country Director Bobby Waddell to both counties (18th to 25th April), to visit FFP activities (visited seed stores, school rehabilitation, clinic rehabilitation and other Food For Work activities) and to discuss and finalise wrap up FFP activities with the staff. We were also able to meet with the SRRA authorities in Yirol (new incoming SPLM secretary) and to discuss our strategic planning and longer term plans in the region. LWF/DWS has requested to USAID/FFP a one month extension period (to 30th June 2001) in order to finalise the food distribution activities under the current contract with FFP.

Positive signal has been received from CAFOD/CEAS regarding the unspent funds from the 2000 Rehabilitation project and this will now be channelled to a planning/transition phase (to December 2001) to develop future proposals in south Sudan based on the new strategic plan. A new Project Coordinator has been identified and is due to start early June.

Turkana

Food distribution to 80,000 beneficiaries continued in April in the 3 divisions for which LWF/DWS is responsible. In fact it was the 3rd allocation (instead of 4th) this year. There have been problems in the WFP pipeline and during April no vegetable oil was distributed. The indications are that the pipeline is not looking good for May and June. 14 agencies, led by Oxfam issued a press release during April to try to raise international awareness on this food pipeline problem.

Agencies (including LWF/DWS) together with ALRMP (Arid Lands Resource Management Project, GoK) conducted a food security monitoring analysis of the various sub groups of the district population. It was noted that the drought does not affect the urban and peri-urban people in the same way as it affects the pastoralist groups, hence the need to revise the food needs of the peri-urban populations.

Some pastoralists have retreated to the border areas with Uganda because of the significant amount of rainfall and pasture improvement in this area during April. However given the livestock losses during the past year, not everyone will benefit from the current rains.

Meanwhile, malnutrition levels continue to fall in the project area. The results of the recent nutrition survey (in February 2001) indicate a significant reduction in Global malnutrition, down from around 40% this time last year (2000) to 7.4%. At the Therapeutic Feeding Centre in Kakuma, the numbers of under 5's continues to fall also. The situation will be reviewed during May to determine what action will be taken from end of May.

Kakuma

The Japanese foreign minister visited on the 2nd of April to donate some classroom supplies for primary schools.

The camp is still fairly tense after the fighting of Black Easter as UNHCR are calling it. The fighting took place from the 13th - 16th April. The official figures of casualties are 7 confirmed dead, 160 injured, 83 arrests, 5 of which are individuals who are going for resettlement. UNHCR's official reason for the insecurity states that the fighting between south Sudanese clans - Dinka Bor and Dinka Bahr El Ghazal began because of a dispute over a trench of dirty water but was more probably triggered by events taking place in south Sudan. Specifically the two clans are embroiled in a dispute over the composition of the SPLA/M command structure. The curfew has been lifted but many of our staff still feel insecure in certain areas of the camp.

We had three workshops during the month. Pre-school teacher training took place with 50 participants both refugee and national staff. The Youth and Culture programme held a workshop on Disaster Preparedness and crisis management. 48 participants took part with facilitation from ICRC. 32 participants from the Drop Out Girls programme took part in a peace education workshop.

LWF/DWS still awaits the signing of the agreement with US state Department Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM). During April, Hugh Ivory of Lutheran World Relief (LWR) visited the camp and officially opened the new Reception Centre buildings and the new warehouse at the LWF office compound (both funded by BPRM through LWR).

Administration

All staff contracts issued from Nairobi office have been signed.

E-mail communication with Kakuma has been resumed after initial problems.

Don't forget to visit our website for updated reports - www.lwfkenyasudan.org

Visitors to the Programme

Lemma Degefa, Kenya/Sudan Desk Officer, visited Nairobi for one week (29th March to 5th April) and participated in the Strategic Planning workshop (31st March to 3rd April).

Hugh Ivory, Grants Officer for LWR was also visiting the programme during March/April (22nd March to 30th April). In addition to participating in the Strategic Planning Workshop, he also visited FFP project activities in south Sudan and BPRM activities at Kakuma Refugee Camp.

Personnel

The post of Project Coordinator for south Sudan has now been filled. The incoming PC is due to begin work in early June.