Refugee life in Africa

Introduction and thesis statement

It is commonplace that hospitality and generosity signifies the hallmark of true gentlemen in the African societies. Modernization and the recent turn of events have instigated a serious change of values and preferences with respect to this. As a result, persons and societies in general tend to prioritize individual gratification and safety before thinking about those with deficiencies. This paper examines the ramifications of hosting refugees, with respect to security and coexistence in the society.


“I fled from my country, not as a result of national conflict or political clash, but with the wild dream to achieve a rich American life style.” As mentioned in my earlier essay, this reason ranked highest among factors that coerced me to quit my home nation. Just like me, most nationals of the war ravaged, or impoverished countries often seek asylum in foreign countries.

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In the whole of East and Central Africa, Kenya is always the destination of choice. This may happen due to several reasons, with the relatively peaceful atmosphere most common. For other immigrants like me, the level of infra-structural development and economic stability lures them to the nation.

They travel hoping that they may establish themselves as business personalities, or have it easier to maneuver from as they seek to travel overseas. While a vast majority of these reasons may appear genuine, experience has revealed that considerable populations of these immigrants bear evil intentions.

It should be noted that some camps are in proximity with the borders, hence increasing the security threats tremendously. This happens incase militia disguise themselves as civilians and infiltrate the refuge stations. Given the global terror threat due to the existence of militia groups which are solely focused on destabilizing nations, it is advisable for governments to enforce strict immigration policies.

These rules will bind all people moving into the nation, and explicitly state the qualifications they are to attain before gaining access. It should be noted that Kenya has received several threats from the Al-Shabaab militia group which is widely believed to be a branch of Al-Qaeda, with respect to security of the citizens and the homeland in general. This warning calls for apprehension by the respective governments in a bid to protect their citizens.

Security within the camp is also vital. Continued instances of rape are commonplace in these camps. New arrivals are the most vulnerable, with predators originating both within and outside the camp. It is difficult to identify these sex pests since they wait for the nights in order to carry out their operations.

They have not shown a preference for any age group, since elderly women, the middle aged and young girls all fall victims to these attacks. In the same breath, the female persons living outside the camp are often victims of rape during cattle rustling, operations by the government forces and attacks by bandits targeting their property.

Co-existence in the society

In the case of Kenya, the nation I went to, a majority of these camps are located in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL zones). This implies that the locals have to contend for the meager utilities and natural resources. By hosting some of the largest settlements worldwide, the nation has subjected inhabitants of these regions to intense competition for the vital resources. “Scarcity of medical service made it impossible to prevent unwanted deaths that easily could have been prevented if there had been a proper medical care.

“That is why there was death news daily”, serves as a pointer to the dire situation experienced by the inhabitants of these camps and members of the society in general, since they have to share hospitals and the essentials therein. It is noteworthy, that numerous charity and other health organizations have labored tirelessly in a bid to supplement the available resources.

In addition, to poor Medicare, residents have to compete for water. This commodity is a necessity of life, both for human beings and animals. Residents require it in large amounts to sustain livestock farming, which is their main source of livelihood. This does not take away the fact that they also need to satisfy their physiological needs.

Consequently, a collision course is unavoidable, since all interest groups focus significantly on supplying the camps with water at the expense of the natives. This served to heighten the “deeply rooted xenophobic feelings”, felt towards the immigrants. It becomes hard to coexist under such circumstances, since one party feels aggrieved by the other.

Nutrition also poses a formidable challenge in this region. Malnourished children constitute the landscape of refugee camps. This is often attributed to the starch based rations that are distributed by the aid agencies. In addition, grown ups have weakened body immunity systems due to the same set of reasons.

It should be noted that the situation in the villages is not any better. While the children in the camp have something to eat irrespective of the quantity, children outside these camps often go hungry for days. Most of them have stunted growth in addition, to nutrition-related infections. This makes it difficult for them to interact due to impoverished health.


While the competition for resources and security threats make it hard for these distinct societies to interrelate, it is clear that they are faced with a similar set of problems. Subsequently, the government and other stake holders need to rethink their strategy, by implementing policies that guarantee members of the society similar, if not a higher percentage of benefits. This is because their predicament and that of the refugees are analogous.


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