Kakuma Refugee Camp: Leveraging the Edge

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Montana State Univeristy


As Kakuma refugee camp has significantly outgrown its capacity, promoting a life beyond the camp becomes vital. The current operational strategy for refugee camps is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Life in Kakuma is heavily characterized by unavoidable dependency on governmental aid, minimal access to water, and lack of basic means to foster an education. To alleviate these issues and promote life outside the camp, establishing a new perspective on education is the solution; redefining education as a means of gaining opportunity, dignity, and the ability to make a living, a solution focused on well-being is proposed. Malnutrition is the most influential factor in children not obtaining an education. To alleviate the impact of malnutrition on the population, a community owned-and-operated farm is proposed. By introducing a water retention and filtration system, annual flood water from the Tarach River is harvested in a cistern and released via drip irrigation. This provides acceptable water for the maintenance of a community farm in Kakuma. As a result of implementing the community farm, people are able to reclaim ownership of their lives. In the same way that the community farm fosters livelihood, it also creates opportunity for social hubs to emerge. To complement the social hubs, a hexagonal modular kit-of-parts marketplace is proposed. Plots in the community farm will be divided among refugees, and specified portions of crop produced will be dispersed to the schools, incentivizing families to take advantage of education. Ultimately, establishing this water filtration system will feed the community, provide economic opportunities, and incentivize education.




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