Psychosocial Challenges Faced by Internally Displaced Persons at Maai Mahiu Camp in Rift Valley Province, Kenya
Wasanga, C. M.
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Globally there is ample evidence that human conflicts are common worldwide and human beings who have been subjected to traumatic events associated with war, conflicts and collective violence experience serious psycho-social consequences. One such conflict was the 2007 Post Election Violence (PEV) that resulted in death, displacement, immense losses and traumatic events that caused serious psychological distress. This study was designed to explore the psycho-social challenges facing the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Maai- Mahiu camp in the Rif valley, Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to establish the levels of depression among the JDP:S and the psychosocial challenges that they were experiencing. The target population comprised of 277 adult male and female IDPs in Maai Mahiu camp. Respondent driven sampling strategy (RDS) was used to identify a sample size of 140IDPs. To assess the levels of depress ion among the IDP’S, Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDl), was administered. Focus group discussions were used to obtain information on the psychosocial challenges they were experiencing. Findings indicated that the levels of depression were quite high: 82% of the respondents were depressed: 41% were severely depressed, 30% were moderately depressed while 11% had mild depression. In addition to being depressed, the IDP’s were also experiencing other psychological distresses such as few; despair, lack of sleep and isolation. Other identified challenges were lack of basic needs and social amenities. It was recommended that the IDP s be resettled as soon as possible to resume a semblance of normal life and psvchological interventions be mounted to help those undergoing depression and other psychological disorders.