Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Somali-Dadaab connection

So its been roughly one and half months in Somali and I have learnt stuff like the local authority rule and the DC is king and lest I forget they are the ones who 'provide security without any payment'(the DC's words)...........I wonder what peace but still they rule and the local authority has individuals heading different departments and even one who is head of programs and as part of accountability to them we are suppose to provide them with monthly reports(seriously) their key interest is money and  more money but they'll most definitely get these reports and stamp them without even having a look I'm sure.

The planned repatriation of Somali refugees back to Somalia is ongoing and the transit place where the willing refugees will be brought as they wait to go back to their original homes is Luuq(yaaaaaaaaaaaaay lucky me on this account) hoping atleast more people will come and be based here to make the place bearable and maybe even fun.I understand negotiation meetings have been held with the community and a piece of land has been identified and even cleared in readiness of making the transit centre.

I decide to find out the general feel of the people about the returning of refugees from Dadaab and after my 'research' held in my non-existent Somali I have established/proved my hypothesis(yes hypothesis this was an oral research though) that 'the refugees living in Dadaab are not willing to return to Somalia'.

 Findings of this research  include:The people who live here have strong ties in Dadaab like the lady who cooks in the Dollow guest house has nine kids and all of them are in Hagadera getting an education and some old lady I spoke to who says you know my children are abroad..............they are in Kenya(Dadaab) studying :-) even Kenya can be abroad for those who ever doubted this. Recently we posted some job advertisements and you'll be shocked at how many Somali nationals applied who have studied in Dadaab and worked as incentive staff for agencies in Dadaab almost 95%.

My conclusion on this is based on the guys I spoke to they love Dadaab because of the services offered  there and especially because of the free education opportunities that see parents who live here send their kids to Dadaab to study and better their lives,also the access to good health care is a big pull factor to Dadaab.So will there be voluntary repatriation and will the piece of land that has been cleared in Luuq  to make space for the transit centre be used my oral research says not soon.