Kigoma region is among of seven regions in Tanzania that have been hosting refugees from great lakes region of Africa, since Tanganyika independence in 1961. Other regions are Kagera, Tabora, Katavi (former part of Rukwa) Dodoma, Mtwara and Tanga.
Since 1972 Kigoma land was used to accommodate more than three million refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. A huge number of refugees hosted in Kigoma from Republic of Burundi in 1993 and thereafter in 1994 the second influx was received from DRC. More than eight refugee camps were established within Kigoma. Five camps were established in Kibondo, three in Kasulu (hosted refugees from Burundi) and two in Kigoma rural (current Uvinza) hosted refugees from DRC.
To date, Kigoma is hosting about 350,000 refugees from different countries mostly Burundi and DRC who have been given asylum in Nyarugusu (Kasulu), Nduta (Kibondo), and Mtendeli Camps in Kakonko district
Due to being poor, having refugees, increment of insecurity incidents, poor infrastructures, Kigoma citizens as a refugee host community has committed to conflicts with refugees in the villages surrounding refugee camps. They accuse refugees as most criminals when insecurity incidents happen, land conflicts, environmental degradation, armed robbery and other conflicts within the refugees host areas.
The Organisation for Human Investment and Development (OHIDE) under Refugee program, intends to undergo an intensive approach to address a wide range of issues facing both refugees and migrants in the region as well as the surrounding refugee host communities.
OHIDE is expected to run a “Good Neighborhood Project” which will focus on
- Reducing tension between refugees and citizens
- Conduct mediation, Conflict solving and cohesion
- Conduct cultural and sport competition between Refugees and Host community and
- Promotion of Business Integrations among them
OHIDE believes that; involvement of both the host population and refugees in the project will reduce dishonest and tension arising, this shall happen through cooperation with Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), Tanzania Government, humanitarian Agencies and the United Nation. OHIDE will work on lobbying and advocacy on equal access to UN existing response to refugees and migrants and putting campaign on an increment of focus on supporting host communities.
As Kigoma UN joint program stated “Expanding and increasing the support to host communities will help to decrease tensions and misunderstandings between the refugee/migrant population and the host population. Through supporting stability and prosperity in the Kigoma region it will also assist to promote stability in the Great Lakes regional context.”