The Mkuyu camp was situated almost 22km from Handeni district. It was established in area of the camp in the year 1992 to accommodate Somali refugees who were running out of their country of origin from ethnic violence. RELIEF TO DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (REDESO) under support from UNHCR had been running the camp activities since January 2001. Ever since its establishment the refugees in this camp had over years benefited from care and maintenance program provided by various UNHCR implementing partners. These Non Government Organizations were TCRS, RCS (Red Cross Tanzania), WFP, TAMOFA and later REDESO, which took operation of camp from TAMOFA in January 2002. Majority of the refugees in this camp involved themselves in cultivation and some in petty business within the camp and nearby villages. Pending to the movement of refugees to the permanent settlement the Government of Tanzania had granted the land for later establishment of a permanent village in Chogo area in the same district.
The camp started with a small number of refugees and currently the number
had increased up to 3465 as per August 2002 figure.
For normal provision of humanitarian assistance to the refugees REDESO was running camp activities using
its seven technical departments namely Health and sanitation, water,
environmental management and education. Others were community development and
camp management and agriculture. For smooth running of the camp REDESO had employed
staff under contract and there were Government employees whom had specialty knowledge pertaining to the above-mentioned sectors.