Heavy Floods Destroying Refugee Camps In Northern Uganda

South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda are bracing themselves against further flooding that has already destroyed refugee’s settlements in Palorinya camp in Moyo district.

 Heavy Floods Destroying Refugee Camps In Northern Uganda
South sudanese refugees sitting outside their temporary shelter in Northern Uganda Moyo District [Gurtong photo|Paul Night]

By Paul Night

MOYO, UGANDA, 09 December 2017 [Gurtong]-Zone 3 in Palorinya camp, was swept away by floods months ago prompting the camp authorities to make a decision of relocating over 34,500 South Sudanese refugees to a new site.

Authorities say regular flooding in Palorinya camp has also caused massive displacement.
Bashir Mawa, the Deputy Settlement commandant of Palorinya camp said that the physical assessment of the floods affected areas of zone 3 west.

“Next Wednesday work will begin with or without resources. The buses and trucks must reach the new location at Lama Refugee’s settlement in Moyo sub-County Moyo district,” said Bashir Mawa.

“The matter at hand needs immediate response and the landlords have offered their land for the relocation to take place and we’re happy for the hospitality of the locals,” he added.

As the exercise of relocation is being put in place, the camp management appealed to the implementing partners to take the matter seriously to avoid any outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“We’re trying to avoid the outbreak of some serious infections like cholera and malaria although the doctors would advise but malaria is on increase unlike cholera which has not so to speak broken out yet. We would not want that to happen,” said Mawa.

Sohhed Yinusa, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene consultant working for Lutheran world federation said after ground assessments, the team will come up with inputs which need to be strategic.

“We can establish what kind of latrine facilities is very much reliable in this area (Lama). We also need to offer psycho-social support to and also preparing the ground with the refugees because peace building is imperative” Yinusa said.

Williams Anyama, the Local Council 5 Chairman said the situation on the ground is regrettable and needs immediate attention from partners in the district.

“It is a serious problem the schools and health centers affected are closed and life is becoming difficult and it is impacting negatively on us as a government because people who are psychologically affected by the wars in South Sudan are again faced with regular problems of the flooding.  The government is looking forward through the district leadership to see to it that the matter is addressed. And one way of addressing the problem is to relocate the affected households to a place where there is no prospect of floods.”

The LC5 said a joint assessment team has been sent to Lama to assess the area and make recommendations so that the refugees who are badly affected by the floods be relocated.
“Because they also deserve better living just like other human beings would love to have in place.” He said.

The area in zone 3 west affected by the flood is 673.44 hectares and covers 69 blocks. Areas affected can accommodate a maximum of 6,900 households or 34,500 refugees considering an average family size of five persons.
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