Abraham Mpwerwa, the headteacher of Buusu primary school which is 1.2 kilometers away from the border of DR Congo near river Lamia, says that the refugees destroyed a lot of furniture and used it for cooking.
The administrators of several schools in Bundibugyo district want the government to renovate facilities vandalised by the Congolese refugees. Over 30,000 Congolese refugees have entered the district since February this year following attacks by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces-ADF in the neighbouring DR Congo near Busunga border.
Some of the refugees were temporarily hosted at Lamia, Busolhu, Kalera, Butogo, Bundingoma, Lamia and Nyangonda, Buusu and Butogo primary schools before they were taken to Bubukwanga refugee transit center. The refugees destroyed some of the school property including desks and benches, which they turned into firewood.
The refugees also filled up toilets in some of the schools, which has affected the learning environment. Buusu and Butogo are the most affected as most of the classes lack desks. Abraham Mpwerwa, the headteacher of Buusu primary school which is 1.2 kilometers away from the border of DR Congo near river Lamia, says that the refugees destroyed a lot of furniture and used it for cooking.
Currently, in some classes, pupils are sitting on the bare floor which is affecting their learning.
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Sedrack Balyebulya, the headteacher of Butogo primary school, said teachers are sharing one toilet with the learners because the second one was filled up and destroyed by refugees. “At the moment we have only one functional latrine and that’s is very risky for both learners and our staff,” Balyebulya said.
Geoffrey Friday, a teacher at Lamia Primary school, says that the school needs desks and latrines and appeals for immediate intervention. Bundibugyo District Education Officer, John Byabakama, says that the district is financially handicapped to provide necessary interventions and appeals to the government for support.
But the Bundibugyo refugee focal person, Francis Senyondo told URN that they held a meeting with government officials and the representatives from UNHCR and they promised to renovate all school facilities that have been destroyed.
Without specifying when the actual works will commence, Senyondo said the district will soon be conducting an assessment of the affected schools and compiling a report on what is needed.
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Senyondo added that they have also requested the UNHCR representative to aid in the expansion and elevation of Bubukwaga and Burondo HCIII, which are central facilities for providing health services to refugees.