As of May 2019, a total of 211,544, mostly Somali refugees reside in Dadaab camps. Since May 2017, REACH has worked in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and in support of camp management and operational partners in Dadaab to provide information and guidance on developing tools and methodologies for data collection and data analysis in Dadaab refugee complex (Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo) and along the Kenya-Somalia border. With continued conflict, instability and drought causing new displacement in Somalia, there is a need to strengthen the knowledge of future return intentions and movement patterns of the refugee population in Dadaab and along the Kenya-Somalia border. In addition, due to reduced humanitarian funding in Dadaab and a recent announcement by the government of Kenya to close Dadaab refugee camps, this information is essential to inform prioritization and identification of vulnerable populations. In February 2019, REACH conducted an intentions survey in Dadaab refugee complex where a high proportion of Somali refugees (46%) said that they were not willing to return to their country of origin mainly due to fear of conflict. Despite the ongoing voluntary repatriation programme by the Government of Kenya with support from UNHCR, there were reported spontaneous returns to Somalia and re-returns to Dadaab2. This situation overview presents findings of comprehensive intentions and cross border movement monitoring conducted in July 2019 across the three camps of Dadaab refugee complex.
• 35% of households (HHs) said that they will not return to their country of origin while only 4% said that they were certain to return. The proportion of HHs that were certain to return has decreased slightly since the February 2019 assessment.
• The main push factors from Somalia reported by HHs include fear of conflict, actual conflict, fear of insecurity, drought and lack of livelihood opportunities in Somalia. The main reported pull factors to Dadaab were lack of conflict in Dadaab, law and order, availability of humanitarian aid, access to refugee registration and availability of income opportunities. The reported push and pull factors are similar to the ones mentioned by HHs in the February 2019 assessment.
• Focus group discussion (FGD) participants said that they were not intending to return to Somalia due to instability and insecurity in Somalia, and because they were waiting to be resettled to other countries.
• 11% of individual interview respondents revealed that they were leaving Dadaab due to potential closure of the camp while 58% of them were going to visit their family members who live in Somalia.
• The majority (83%) of HHs who reported having members that had returned to Somalia said that those members had not registered for voluntary repatriation (volrep) with UNHCR or Kenyan authorities, just like 87% of individual interview respondents.
• Only intending to return temporarily, fear of losing refugee status and procedures taking too long were commonly reported reasons for not registering for volrep programmes, as reported by HHs, individual interview respondents and FDG participants.
• FGD participants reported various protection issues experienced by persons in transit, including rape, threat by armed groups, beating, robbery, harassment by drivers and conductors, separated individuals and children traveling alone.