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Environmental planning, Kenya

Environmental planning, Kenya

1 January 2001

A project initiated by UNHCR's Environment Unit is helping establish an environmental planning programme in Kenya. The project focuses on environmental assessment around the Dadaab refugee camps and includes an analysis if refugee population census methods and camp planning using aerial video. ORSTOM, a French National Research Group, is acting as UNHCR's implementing partner.

This project will produce a clearer picture of environmental degradation around the Dadaab refugee camps, with indications of the extent of the area affected by refugees, as well as the types of landscape affected. Maps and technical reports will be produced to assist UNHCR in planning future environmental activities.

Mapping refugee camps, using aerial video, has helped UNHCR Nairobi with improved camp planning. The use of aerial video in this way suggests other ways of improving UNHCR's operations in environmental and camp planning. Satellite images have also been programmed in order to have a recent map of environmental degradation around Dadaab refugee camp. These images will help UNHCR and its implementing partners identify potential areas for wood collection around the refugee camps.

Intermediate results of this project are as follows:

  • Moi University, in co-operation with ORSTOM, has conducted an environmental assessment around refugee camps in Dadaab;
  • An ecological study has begun, with some information being gathered on environmental indicators;
  • An aerial video has been produced over Ifo and Hagadhera refugee camps;
  • Thematic maps of the camps have been produced.