Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in July 2016, more South Sudanese refugees have continued entering Uganda fleeing violence and atrocities against humanity. This population movement has drastically increased number of south Sudanese refugees in Uganda. On a daily basis, Uganda receives about 2000 refugees from S. Sudan. Today, Uganda hosts 269,936 refugees from S. Sudan
Many refugee settlements in Northern Uganda were gazetted to receive and accommodate refugees and this population movement has had a huge impact on the resources. The government of Uganda set up bidi-bidi settlement in Yumbe, to accommodate the over flow of refugees from other settlements.
This was estimated to host about 100,000 refugees. However, as more refugees come each day, the settlement has exceeded its capacity. Resources have continued being a challenge and humanitarian agencies have become overwhelmed.
Uganda Red Cross in partnership with other agencies like office of the prime minister, UNHCR, UNICEF and IFRC have combined efforts to support the operation in Yumbe.
URCS OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES.
- Ensure adequate and sustainable supply of water in Bidi bidi.
- Support the expansion and development of new zones (4&5) of bidi bidi to receive additional refugees from South Sudan.
- Register new arrivals
- Ensure that refugees have shelter and communal latrines
- Tracing services to enable family re-union
- Offer first aid as need be
Speaking during the inter agency meeting, Nasir Abel Fernandes the UNHCR senior emergency coordinator appreciated URCS for the good work being done on ground and the good relations exhibited through the operation. “URCS has a dedicated team and their efforts in this operation are un-explainable!”. This builds on additional remarks from Robert Baryamwegigye, the settlement.
commander – office of the prime minister who appreciated URCS and emphasized the additional role of pumping water through the new zones which URCS is bearing. “URCS has a task ahead of this operation since we have to expand to zone 4 and 5 as we host more refugees. The faster we reach Obonga, the better since we need to touch the water source which will reduce on the water shortage.”
Uganda Red Cross is tasked with pumping water to ensure that refugees in this settlement do access safe water.
Robert Kwesiga, secretary general URCS appreciated the agencies for the support extended to enable the smooth running of the operation. “URCS would not have done this alone without support from great partners like OPM, UNHCR, UNICEF and our own, the IFRC. With your continued support, our team is committed and dedicated to fulfill our mandate and deliver for the well-being of the people we are receiving from south Sudan. We pray for continued support as we together serve humanity”. Kwesiga added.