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Water Crisis Hits Nakivale Refugee Settlement

The most affected is Rubondo zone in Nakivale refugee settlement, which is home to hundreds of new refugees. Women and children form most of the queues at the five water points that supply water from Lake Nakivale.
A female refugee helps put jerry cand on the bicycle in the background a que of refugees waiting to fetch water in Kabaare Cell (3)

Audio 7

Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Isingiro district is facing a severe water crisis due to the high number of refugees fleeing the fighting between Congolese forces and M23 rebels.

Nakivale Refugee settlement is home to over 150,000 refugees mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Rwanda among other countries.  

The most affected is Rubondo zone in Nakivale refugee settlement, which is home to hundreds of new refugees. Women and children form most of the queues at the five water points that supply water from Lake Nakivale.  

Some of the refugees say that they now have to buy a Jerry can of water for between Shillings 1000 and 2000.  They say that they are also asked to pay Shillings 1000 at the available water points, which forces them to fetch water from swamps and dams.

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Kinyarwanda Byte  

//Cue in: “sente zokushashura 1000… 

Cue out: …namaizi yo bona,”//  

Justine Ggoza, the Assistant Commandant Rubondo refugee zone confirms the challenge of water scarcity noting that clean water is supplied twice a week. He says that the new arrivals with one or two jerry cans are the most affected in the settlement.  

//Cue in: “water is a… 

Cue out: …issue of water,”//  

Peter Kakuru, the project Manager of Nsamizi Training Institute the lead agency implementing the gravity water supply in Nakivale and Oruchinga Refugee settlements confirms that they are facing a challenge with water. 

He blames the crisis on the increasing numbers of refugees and the lack of funds to pump and extend piped water to everyone in the settlement.  

//Cue in: “there is a… 

Cue out: …and livestock demands.”//    

Junior Maarifa, the Refugee Welfare Council III in Nakivale settlement, says that the water supply is insufficient compared to the current refugee population noting that there are endless queues at the water points.  He says they have resorted to giving water in intervals on specific days for different zones.  

//Cue in: “once the number…. 

Cue out: …changing like that.”//  

Maarifa confirms that refugees are paying to access the water. He explains that the money is meant for maintenance costs to ensure the availability of water.  

//Cue in: “true but it… 

Cue out: …water runs properly,”//  

Aaron Turahi, the Isingiro District LC V Chairperson, says that water scarcity is faced by both Nakivale and Oruchinga refugee settlements. He has called for increased funding for water and sanitation as a solution to the problem of the concerned agencies.  

He says the district has a small budget for the supply of water in the settlement areas of less than Shillings 100 million.

//Cue in: “but in Nakivale… 

Cue out: …within our budget.”//  

Kakuru says there is a long time solution for water supply that will be provided by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, which await implementation in the nearest future. The project will supply the settlement with water from the Kagera River.  

//Cue in: “in the long… 

Cue out: …mega kagera project.”//