Lachin Hasanova, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Head of Field Office at Nakivale notes that the settlement has inadequate social services. Hasanova explains that unlike the base camp at Nakivale which has adequate services, Rubondo Zone lacks some of the essential services among others electricity and a stable telecommunication network.
refugees arriving in Uganda and being settled in Nakivale
Refugee Settlement, Isingiro District are abandoning plots of land allocated to
them by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) due to poor social services.
of refugees currently fleeing unrest from the neighbouring Democratic Republic
of Congo are being settled by the Office of the Prime Minister in Rubondo Zone, one of the areas accommodating
new arrivals registered from Kisoro district. Each of them is allocated a 30-by-30 meter piece of land for their accommodation needs.
Lachin Hasanova, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Head
of Field Office at Nakivale notes that the settlement has inadequate social
services. Hasanova explains that unlike the base camp at Nakivale which has adequate services, Rubondo
Zone lacks some of the essential services among others electricity and a stable
in; “Rubondo is abit…
out…have mobile network."//
says that the scarcity of essential services has forced some of the new refugees to
abandon the plots allocated to them and instead relocate to the already
congested base camp. Hasanova
says a partner is already conducting documentation and assessment at Rubondo Zone to understand the needs, and gaps in services.
in; Up to now…
out…gaps and services.”//
also notes that access to basic necessities of life still remains a big
challenge for refugees but mostly new arrivals in the settlement arguing that
only about five per cent of the total population of refugees in the settlement
in; “Livelihood is a…
out…activity livelihood projects.”//
Mutawe, the Commandant
of Nakivale Refugee Settlement acknowledges that Rubondo Zone is facing a big
gap in providing sufficient social services to new arrivals, especially in
areas of health and education.
notes that initially, social services at the settlement had been planned for
about 15,000 individuals but notes that the high influx of refugees has put
pressure on service delivery. For instance, Rubondo Zone now homes to about
44,000 refugees still has only one Health Center II and only three primary
in; “before resettling…
out…to settle them.”//
also notes that the settlement is facing a dire scarcity of water and that they
are currently rationing water for refugees. Mutawe says that the water shortage is a
concern since it can result in hygiene-related complications owing to the use
of unsafe water but, he adds, they are working closely with partners to see that
the water reservoir is expanded.
in; “Rubondo area has…
out…from the lake.”//
One of the refugees who has since abandoned a plot of land at Rubondo Zone and now staying with her relative at the base camp told Uganda Radio Network on condition of anonymity that the area allocated was too remote. She notes that despite being an expectant mother she hadn't been able to access antenatal healthcare since the only health facility is more than five kilometres away.
"I was afraid that I may develop complications if I continue staying in the remote land allocated to me, I left with my two children (aged five and seven years) and now accessing better antenatal health services here," she said the land given to her is being rented by another refugee.
to OPM and UNHCR, since January this year, more than 900 refugees cross into
the country through Kisoro every week and are settled in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. The
refugee settlement currently has a total of 151,000 refugees consisting of 10 Nationalities
from the African Continent majority of whom are Congolese refugees.