29 January 2014

Uganda: Refugees - Adjumani Appeals to Prime Minister

Photo: Anthony Morland/IRIN
Reports say more than 64,000 people in Malakal County were displaced in two waves of fighting in the area (file photo).

Adjumani District Chairperson Dickson Owole has appealed to Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to speed up the resettlement of South Sudanese refugees from Tzaipi reception centre to the camp in Dru.

"These refugees keep coming daily; they should be moved quickly because they keep coming between 1,500 and 2,000," Owole said on January 21.

A January 14, 2014 draft report by Refugee Law Project indicates that refugees at Tzaipi reception centre are living in squalid conditions with four cases of Hepatitis B already registered. They are also unregistered children, some separated from their families and in need of psychosocial support.

Uganda Red Cross Society's northern region manager, Terrence Omonya, says the only water tank at Tzaipi has a capacity of 10,000 litres, supplying over 37,000 refugees.

"Sanitation is also worrying as the ratio of toilet in the area is 1:1000, contrary to Uganda's standard of 1:250 people," he said.

Omonya suspects that the Tete stream which runs through the area and burst its banks recently, flooding the area, poses a big health problem to the refugees in the rainy season.

But the assistant commissioner in charge of refugees in OPM, Douglas Asiimwe, said assessments had been done in the refugee-host districts and they should expect the situation to change soon.

"Everything was abrupt and there could have been shortfalls here and there but we are working to redress the issues; our biggest problem is that we are overwhelmed with refugees," he responded.

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