New Arrivals

All newly-arrived asylum seekers, after they have completed their quarantine and have been registered by RAS, are eligible to receive shelter when they are relocated to the community.

When you are relocated (either to Kakuma like most new arrivals, or exceptionally, to Kalobeyei) National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), a shelter partner of UNHCR, will build for you a transitional shelter. No shelter construction materials are given directly to new arrivals.

Once the transitional shelter is constructed, NCCK will issue you with a serialized token detailing the household number of the household issued, date of issuance, family size and location of the shelter. This token indicates the exclusive privilege of use of the shelter to the household. Please keep your token safe.

Shelters are allocated based on following criteria:


Family Size 1 2-5 6-10 10+
Shelter size 3m x 6m 3m x 6m 2 shelter

3m x 6m

3m x 6m (3 + shelters, case by case)
Plot size 10m x 15m 10m x 15m 10m x 15m 10m x 15m (case by case)
Additional criteria One T-shelter is allocated per 3 families of size 1 None None None



Family Size 1 2-5 6-10 10+
Shelter size 3m x 6m 3m x 6m 2 shelter 3m x 6m 3m x 6m (3+ shelters, case by case)
Plot size 10m x 20m 10m x 20m 10m x 20m 10m x 20m (case by case)
Additional criteria One T-shelter is allocated per 3 families of size 1. Not applicable to permanent shelters None None None

Permanent Shelter in Kalobeyei

In Kalobeyei, UNHCR uses Cash Based Intervention (CBI) to upgrade shelters belonging to refugees from transitional to permanent shelters. While UNHCR provides the cash, the construction is done by refugees themselves. You can see more information on the CBI site. UNHCR works with its partner Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) to supervise the construction.

Requesting Additional Shelter

UNHCR has limited shelter materials available every year. Therefore, providing new arrivals with shelter is the priority. Whether additional shelter can be provided to families who already live in Kakuma, when, for example, their family size increases, is dependent on whether funding is available. Such requests are done on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Refugees can apply for additional shelter allocation when the number of persons occupying a shelter exceeds the standard shelter allocation criteria outlined above (must be at least two more persons than the standard allocation). We will try to construct additional shelters in the family’s preferred location, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Newly married couples can request for a new or additional shelter if they are moving out of their families’ shelters to live together.

Requests for shelter allocation due to household changes can be submitted to UNHCR by visiting and submitting the request at

the UNHCR Field Post or writing to UNHCR.

Any household who leaves the camp permanently shall not demolish, donate, or sell a part of, or the whole of a shelter without the clearance of RAS. RAS will physically assess the shelter/plots being vacated, update the shelter database, and instruct NCCK to issue new tokens to remaining family members or record plot as vacant so that it can be reassigned.

Selling the plot being vacated (for example following relocation, resettlement or voluntary repatriation) by refugees is prohibited.

Shelter Repairs

If your shelter has been damaged due to age or any natural disaster (e.g. flooding) you can use the iMonitor tool to report this, write to UNHCR or visit the Field Post (see below how to report a concern). UNHCR through its shelter implementation partner will assess the damaged shelter. Based on the assessment and depending on the damage, and availability of shelter materials the partner will provide materials such as roofing sheets, timber for walling, tarpaulin sheets. The repairs are carried out by the refugees.

Report a concern

To report a shelter in need of repair or a request for additional shelter due to increase in family size, you can:

  • Report in person – You can report any shelter issue at the Field Post by making an appointment in KASI.
  • iMonitor – iMonitor is a simple tool that you can use to refer a shelter issue directly to UNHCR. You can pre-load to access offline and record the location and description of the issue, upload a picture and request for feedback. You can access the tool here.
  • You can write an email to UNHCR using [email protected]

Please see the How to Contact UNHCR site for more information.

Please note that all of UNHCR’s services are free of charge. You can read more about this here.