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Gov't to Rehabilitate Facilities Ruined By Refugees in Bunagana

While in Bunagana town council, the refugees camped in schools, churches, and public markets. As a result, school furniture was damaged as refugees turned desks and benches into firewood for cooking.
Refugees who pitched camp at Bunagana Primary School

Audio 5

The government has committed to rehabilitating facilities that were spoilt by Congolese refugees in Bunagana town council.

Last month, more than 20,000 refugees crossed into Kisoro District since the outbreak of heavy fighting between the M23 rebels and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu province.

The refugees first camped at Bunagana town council until Kisoro District authorities and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) started efforts to gather them at Nyakabande refugees transit centre in Nkakabande sub-county.

While in Bunagana town council, the refugees camped in schools, churches, and public markets.  As a result, school furniture was damaged as refugees turned desks and benches into firewood for cooking. 

Some of the affected primary schools include Bunagana Muslim, Kampiriko, Teddy Bear, Bunarenga Pride, Breast future, Giharo, Kabaya, and Nangu.  Operations of the affected schools were closed for more than a week to allow refugees to get accommodation.

Esther Anyakun, Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees says that all the affected facilities will be renovated. According to Anyakun, officials from the Office of the Prime Minister have already conducted an assessment of the schools, health facilities, and public toilets that were affected.

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Anyakun however says that no rehabilitation will be conducted if refugees return and ruin the facilities because the department is overwhelmed with demands from other parts of the country. She explains that once the works are completed, the responsibility of managing the facilities will be in the hands of Kisoro district officials. 

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Hajji Shafique Ssekandi Ssengoba, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, and Abel Bizimana, Kisoro District LCV Chairperson welcome the commitment saying that due to the influx of the refugees, all the public toilets in Bunagana are full.

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But Ismail Ndayambaje, Bunagana Town Council LCIII Chairman says some schools were not assessed by officials from the Office of the Prime Minister.

He cited Kabaya Primary School which was left in shambles by the refugees.

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Ndayambaje also says that the government should provide food relief to Bunagana residents since they surrendered their food to the refugees.

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