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The intention of this open source mapping and data analysis tool is to assemble and organize the cartographic and spatial information that relates to long-term refugee camps situated along the East African Rift. The interactive and static maps, plans and diagrams below show this information at different spatial scales, from the globe up to the building scales of seven different long-term camps in Southwest Uganda, Northwest Kenya and Rwanda.

global forced migration

 

The collection of maps and diagrams bellow shows the development of forced migration worldwide from 1952 until 2016 .

 

In order to see the different movements of population, select the year you are interested in by typing it in the center right box or using the dial to that effect. Hovering or clicking on any element of the maps will give you more detailed information.

Evolution (1951-2016) hosted refugees by country.  Sources: WB database 2016, UNHCR population database 2016.

 

forced migration in the african continent

The diagram bellow shows the development of forced migration in the African Continent from 1961 until 2014.

To see the population migration volumes particular to a specific year, select the year you are interested in by clicking on the bars diagram on top of the maps. Hovering or clicking on any element of the maps will give you more detailed information.

Evolution (1961-2014) forced migration in the African continent.  Sources: UNHCR population database 2016.

 

forced migration in eastern africa

The diagram bellow shows the development of forced migration in Eastern Africa from 1961 until 2014 

To see the origins and destinations of refugees in East Africa on specific years select the year you are interested in by clicking on the bars diagram below the maps. Hovering or clicking on any element of the maps will give you more detailed information.

Evolution (1961-2014) forced migration in East Africa.  Sources: UNHCR population database 2016.

 
EAST AFRICAN RIFT 

Spatial information about long-term refugee camps and other refugee settlements situated along the East African Rift

selected areas

Spatial data on the  three study areas within East Africa: Rwanda, Southwest Uganda and Northwest Kenya. 

selected CAMPS

Peri-urban and urban scale information of the built environment information of each of the seven camps studied. 

 

EAST AFRICAN RIFT

There are currently more than 8.5 million UN-registered and declared refugees in Eastern Africa. More than 25% of these are children under 6.

This map shows the existing settlements established to host refugees more than five years ago. These are 66 long-term refugee camps that hist 2.1 million people.

 

 

The map bellow  showa the location of all the long-term refugee camps in the region, the diameter of the camp's circles is proportional to their population size of the camp. The graphic represents the amount of people choosing to stay in camps and those choosing to settle freely in urban areas and the length of stay as a refugee in a host country globally.

Sources: WB database 2016, ODI 2015, and UNHCR population database 2016.

The map and diagram below show the borders of the nation states.  the bar graph shows the 66 long-term camps organised by host country and their total populations as of December 2016.

Sources: UNHCR population database 2016; UNHCR data portals for DRC, Horn of Africa, South Sudan and UNHCR country offices..

The map below shows the 66 long-term camps in the area overlapping their locations with the East African Rift.

Evolution (1951-2016) hosted refugees by country.  Sources:: WB database 2016, UNHCR population database 2016.

 

three study areas

southwest Uganda // Northwest Kenya // Rwanda

 
southwest Uganda

In December 2017 Uganda was hosting 1,395,146 registered refugees and asylum-seekers from neighbouring nation states. Most of these refugees are currently contained in 28 refugee camps.

 

The majority of South Sudanese are in camps in the West Nile. The rest are in the Mid-westand Southwest areas. 61% of all encamped refugees are children under the age of eighteen and 20% under the age of six.

 

I focused my research on the Southwest region that hosts the oldest camps in the country, which is mostly populated by Eastern Congolese refugees. 

 

Southwest Uganda shares borders with Eastern DRC, Rwanda, and Northern Tanzania. Its abrupt topography and multiple lakes – Edward and Albert – compose porous borders that facilitate the inconspicuous crossing of refugees and rebels alike. The Southwest region has historically been less populated than the West Nile region, meaning the pieces of land given to the refugees are bigger.

 

In Southwest Uganda, my case studies were Nakivale, Kyangwali and Kyaka II.

 
northwest kenya

At the end of January 2018 Kenya hosted 486,460 refugees in six rural camps: The four Dadaab camps – Hagadera, Ifo I and II, and Dagahaley – that are still running after a major forced repatriation in 2017; and in the Northwest: Kakuma and Kalobeyei.

 

Due to the barren landscape around them, these rural camps have become commercial hubs connecting northeast Kenya with southern Somalia and Northwest Kenya with South Sudan and Uganda.

 

In line with the UNHCR’s segregation planning strategies, the rural camps separated administrators from the refugees in their master plans. The UNHCR and the NGOs compounds are fenced and located away from the refugees. These compounds are currently permanent buildings with sturdy fences, barbed wire, and a large staff of guards. 

 
Rwanda

At the end of 2017 139,732 refugees were hosted in six camps in Rwanda, five of which hosted Congolese refugees, who currently make up a total of 73,526. Approximately 16% are children under the age of six.

 

Most Congolese refugees in Rwanda originate from Eastern DR Congo and their ethnicities are closely tied to Rwanda.

 

All the long-term Congolese camps are small in size and very dense. The biggest, in both population and surface area, is Kigeme, which currently has 20,123 inhabitants spread over 34 hectares. These camps tend to be relatively close to a somehow prosperous population hub, but the older camps like Kiziba are more isolated. More than 54% of the camp’s population are children under the age of seventeen.

 

seven case studies

Nakivale/kyangwali/kyakaii/kakuma/kiziba/kigeme/mugombwa

kyaka ii

The seven long-term refugee camps studied here:  Nakivale, Kyangwaly, Kyaka II, Kakuma I,II,II and IV, Kiziba, Kigeme and Mugobwa were established between 1958 and 2013. 

 

East African camps are usually portrayed as one single unit in humanitarian publications, academia, reports and by the media, despite being established across almost decades in tens of different countries. The three different areas of this study (Rwanda, Southwest Uganda and Northern Kenya)encompass a large variation in refugee policies (some of which conflict), geographic locations, climatic conditions and demographic composition.

 

The people encamped in the camp sin these regions stem from different regional conflicts involving tens of nation-states and a wide variety of ethnicities, tribes and cultural backgrounds.

 

This comparative study aims to infuse nuance, complexity and variability in the study of these locations and their portrayal. The study aims to depict a more realistic image of these incredibly complex and evolving human settlements.

 

Despite generalizations about the camps in the public domain, the spatial features mapped here are surprisingly varied. 

2013

2005

1996

1991

1984

1964

1958

nakivale

uganda

kyangwali

uganda

KYAKA II

uganda

kakuma

(i-II-III)

kenya

kiziba

Rwanda

Kigeme

Rwanda

mugobwa

Rwanda

 

nakivale

uganda-1958

Nakivale, Southwest Uganda

Established in: Mbarara district, Western region in 1958. (recognized by UNHCR in 1960)

Length in years: 59

Area: 85 square kilometers

Population total (2016): 120.415 

Population 3-6 (2016): 13.825 

Number of different origins: 12. DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Congo Brazzaville, Malawi.

 

Climate and Orography: Semi-arid savannah with occasional floods. Mostly flat in Juru and Base camp, hilly in Rubondo.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): Windle trust, ARC, UNICEF and UNHCR

Number of formal and nonformal ECD facilities: 52

Children registered at ECD facilities: 7.186

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: 52%

 

International visibility(0-5): Low

Host country visibility(0-5): Very scarce

Host country refugee policies: Relatively open in relationship to the majority of countries

Relationship with neighbours: In 2014 approximately 35.000 nationals in small villages surrounding the settlement. Generally good relationships, share ECD facilities.

 

kyangwali

uganda-1964

Kyangwali, Southwest Uganda

 

Established in: 1964 (disputed 1966 / 1989)

Length in years: 53

Area: 90 square kilometers

Population total (2016): 43.600 

Population 3-6 (2016): 5.006 

Number of different origins: 7. DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia.

 

Climate and Orography: Tropical, hilly, arable rich land.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): AAH, Save the Children and UNICEF

No. Formal and Nonformal ECD facilities: 17

Children registered at ECD facilities: 2207

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: 44%

 

International visibility(0-5): Very scarce

Host country visibility(0-5): Very scarce

Host country refugee policies: Relatively open in relationship to the majority of countries.

Relationship with neighbours: There is an entrenchment of locals in the southern part who claim the land given to refugees, no clashes with refugees but with the giovernment. Refugees feel at one with surrounding national communities.

 

KYAKA II

uganda-1984

Kyaka II, Southwest Uganda

 

Established in: 1984 (disputed Kyaka I in 1964/ Kyaka II in 1983)

Length in years: 43

Area: 81.5 sqKm

Population total (2016): 29.528 

Population 3-6 (2016): 3.390 

Number of different origins: 11. DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Congo Brazzaville, Malawi.

 

Climate and Orography: Tropical, hilly, arable rich land.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): Windel Trust and UNICEF

No. Formal and Nonformal ECD facilities: --

Children registered at formal ECD: --

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: --%

 

International visibility(0-5): Very Scarce

Host country visibility(0-5): Very Scarce

Host country refugee policies: Relatively open in relationship to the majority of countries.

Relationship with neighbours: In 2014 estimated population of 11,978 nationals embedded within and around the settlement. Benefit from trading centres and ECD facilities.

 

kakuma

(i-II-III)

kenya-1991

Kakuma, Northwest Kenya

 

Established in: KKM phase I 1991, KKM phase II 1996, KKM phase III 2009, and KKM phase IV 2014

Length in years: I: 26; II: 21; III: 8; IV: 3

Area: 18 sqKm

Population total (2016): 163.192 ppl.

Population 3-6 (2016): 32.638 Children

Number of different origins: 11. DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Congo Brazzaville, Malawi.

 

Climate and Orography: Semi-arid, desert with occasional floods. Flat.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): LWF, UNICEF and Waldorf Kakuma

No. Formal ECD facilities: 11

No. Non-Formal ECD Facilities: --

Children registered at formal ECD: 11.495

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: 35%

 

International visibility(0-5): Average

Host country visibility(0-5): Poor

Host country refugee policies: Tight and getting restrictive, particularly with recent influx of Somali refugees.

Relationship with neighbours: Poorrelationship with the nomad turkanas. Attacks by turkanas reported at all levels. Turkanas complain of government assistance to refugees and obstruction of their pastoral routes.

 

kiziba

Rwanda-1996

Kiziba, Rwanda

 

Established in: Karongi, Western province in 1996

Length in years: 21

Area: 28 Ha

Population total (2016): 16.979 ppl.

Population 3-6 (2016): 2.547 Children

Number of different origins: 1, DRC

 

Climate and Geography: Hilly and very steep terrain. Lack of adequate arable land, clay soil, prone to soil erosion. Windy.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): ADRA, GHH, Plan International.

No. Formal ECD facilities: 1

No. Nonformal ECD facilities: 10

Children registered at formal ECD: 1.222

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: 48%

 

International visibility/knowledge (0-5): Very scarce

Host country visibility/knowledge (0-5): Very scarce

Host country refugee policies: Tight but opening ever since beginning 2017

Relationship with neighbours: Good relationship with neighbours, they built together community churches and non-formal ECD facilities are shared.

 

Kigeme

Rwanda-2005

Kigeme, Southern Province, Rwanda

 

Established in: 2005 (2009 closed) 2012 reopened.

Length in years: 12 first opening site A / 5 second opening site B

Area: 34 Ha

Population total (2016): 18.430

Population 3-6 (2016): 2.765

Number of different origins: 1. DRC.

 

Climate and Orography: Hilly and very steep terrain. Lack of adequate arable land, clay soil, prone to soil erosion.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): ADRA and Plan International

No. Formal ECD facilities: 2

Non-formal ECD facilities: 60+

Children registered at ECD facilities: 1.327

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: 48%

 

International visibility(0-5): Very scarce

Host country visibility(0-5): Low

Host country refugee policies: Tight but opening since the beginning of 2017

Relationship with neighbours: Good relationship with neighbours, through the black market trading, the improvement of pre-existing health facilities and access to education.

 

mugobwA

Rwanda-2013

Mugobwa, Southern Province, Rwanda

 

Established in: 2013

Length in years: 4

Area: 24 Ha

Population total (2016): 3.151

Population 3-6 (2016): 1.223 

Number of different origins: 1. DRC.

 

Climate and Orography: Hilly and very steep terrain. Lack of enough space for arable land, clay and sandy soil, prone to soil erosion.

 

Protection and education organizations (2017): ADRA and Plan International

No. Formal ECD facilities: 1

Non-formal ECD facilities: 60+

Children registered at ECD facilities: 587

% camp's children 3-6 y/o: 48%

 

International visibility(0-5): Very scarce

Host country visibility(0-5): Low

Host country refugee policies: Tight but opening since the beginning of 2017.

Relationship with neighbours: Good relationship with neighbours, they share the formal ECD, primary secondary and health facilities.

mapping

refugee

spaces