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Uganda Struggles as 4,000 DRC Refugees are Stranded

Thousands of refugees pouring in Uganda from the restive Democratic Republic of Congo are yet to be settled, Chimp Corps report.

At least 36,713 refugees have crossed into Uganda since December, 2017.

Of this number, 32,406 refugees have been settled, leaving 4,307 immigrants stranded at the reception centre looking for shelter and other basic needs.

According to a brief from Uganda Red Cross on Friday night, access to water in Kyangwali refugee camp remains a challenge.

This also poses a great risk of disease outbreaks in the camp like Cholera.

“No house hold pit latrines have also been constructed across the settlement apart from a few communal latrines,” reads the update, adding, “There are traces of open defecation especially by children.”

In recent months, armed groups in eastern DRC have launched repeated attacks on positions of the Congolese Army, with a severe impact on the civilian population.

An attack on a base of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) by suspected members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and wounded 43 others.

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Officials said the water trucks are not enough as per the sphere standards where every refugee should access 20 litres of water per day.

“The target is 90,000 liters but only 6000 liters are trucked on a good day with the worst being 4500 liters,” said Uganda Red Cross.

A team of national responders have since been deployed to handle hygiene promotion in the camps.

Red Cross said social mobilisation for behavioral change targeting all households was underway to ensure proper personal and community hygiene practices as a way of minimising risk for disease outbreaks.

“A 15 stance communal latrine is to be constructed at the reception centre as well as hand washing facilities installed to address “WASH” components. Under this we target to train refugees on proper hand washing, latrine construction and use, maintenance and other routines are emphasised.”

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