Stabilising the livelihoods of the local population and strengthening peaceful conflict transformation around Dadaab refugee camp

Project description

Title: Stabilising the livelihoods of the local population and strengthening peaceful conflict transformation around Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya (Development-oriented Emergency and Transitional Aid project)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ))
Country: Kenya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of State for Special Programs
Overall term: 2011 to 2014

Kenya. © GIZ


Since the early 1990s, the Dadaab region in the north-east of Kenya has been the location of the world’s largest refugee camp. Increasing droughts in the region and a security situation in Somalia that continues to be unstable have led to a humanitarian crisis and thus to the camp’s continual expansion. Originally conceived for 90,000 refugees, more than 450,000 people are now registered there. The camp impacts on the area surrounding the city of Dadaab with a radius of 50 kilometres.

The living conditions of the original inhabitants of this area, too, are at risk on account of the constant droughts and ongoing food insecurity. The population thus feels threatened by the growing number of refugees and perceives the international and national organisations’ aid measures, which are largely intended for the refugees, as unjust and one-sided. As a result, relations between the local population in Dadaab and the refugees are extremely tense.


The livelihoods of the local population around the Dadaab refugee camp have been improved and peaceful approaches taken to conflict transformation.


The project is intended to build trust among the local population and strengthen its economic power through rapidly visible measures.

After overcoming the acute emergency, the focus now is on breaking down tensions between the refugees and the local population while building the capacity of the local authority. Special attention is given to crisis-preventive and peace-building approaches.

The programme comprises a total of four components:

  1. developing and regenerating the economic and social infrastructure through food-for-work and cash-for-work initiatives;
  2. improving production and diversifying agriculture/cattle husbandry;
  3. improving the income opportunities from agricultural and non-agricultural activities;
  4. capacity building for dialogue and non-violent conflict management.

The project provides advisory services, organises training measures, distributes materials and equipment and provides local subsidies.

Close cooperation exists with the BMZ project on supporting refugees and the local population in Kenya. In implementing activities, synergies can be tapped.

Kenya. Growing saplings in the GIZ tree nursery in Kakuma refugee camp (June 2012). © GIZ

Results achieved so far

Since the project began in September 2011, the population has been more involved in the planning and decision-making processes. Initial measures are being carried out to rehabilitate infrastructure and promote agriculture.