Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 June 2010

Kenya / IOM Partners with the Kenyan Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture to Assist Ethnic Somali Pastoralist Community





Kenya / IOM Partners with the Kenyan Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture to Assist Ethnic Somali Pastoralist Community



MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 22, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Briefing Notes

Increasingly, ethnic Somali pastoralists in North Eastern Kenya, are losing their main source of livelihood due to drought and other environmental factors, and are vulnerable to risks associated with irregular migration such as human trafficking and smuggling, according to an IOM research assessment.

The assessment conducted in 2009 aimed to determine and document sources of livelihood for the former pastoralists as well as to profile their vulnerability, while recommending alternative sources of livelihood. The study shows that individuals  who have been forced to migrate from their rural homes into urban centres in search of a better life often end up in subsistence wage  jobs due to lack of skills and education. As a result, they are faced with inadequate access to food, water, healthcare, stable housing structures, and other basic needs which further puts them at risk for labour exploitation.

In response to this situation, IOM in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture has set up a Somali Community Cultural Centre in the Garissa District of North Eastern Province to support this vulnerable group. Dedication and formal opening of the centre will take place on 23 July.

The multi-purpose centre will support the community by showcasing traditional Somali culture while also serving as a gathering place where neighbouring communities can come together. The venue will also provide recreational activities and information forums on various issues such as irregular migration and human trafficking under a joint agreement between IOM and the Government of Kenya.

Additionally, the centre will provide skills development for the former pastoralists through various training such as handcrafts weaving. Weavings take approximately 1-2 days to complete and sell for approximately 5,000 shillings or just over $60 USD.

The centre was established with funding from the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) and is an activity under the programme Integrated Response to Food Insecure Vulnerable Families in the Rift Valley and the Northern Regions of Kenya, that aims to mitigate negative impacts of food insecurity on affected families and other vulnerable groups through re-establishment of livelihoods, countering human trafficking and fostering an environment of peace. Construction is planned for a similar centre at Kakuma, in North Western Kenya.


International Office of Migration (IOM)


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