By Elema Robert
Hoima-Acute water shortage has hit Kyangwali refugee camp where there has been increment on the number of the Congolese refugees.
According to the Communications Officer Uganda Red Cross Society, Irene Nakasita, there are now 32,406 out of 36,713 received since Dec 2017 but 4,307 are still at the reception centre.
She said access to water in Kyangwali refugee camp remains a challenge. This also poses a great risk of disease outbreaks in the camp like Cholera and no house hold pit latrines have also been constructed across the settlement apart from a few communal latrines adding that there are traces of open defecation especially by children.
The trucked water is not enough as per the sphere standards where every refugee should access 20 litres of water per day. The target is 90,000 liters but only 6000 liters are trucked on a good day with the worst being 4500 litres.
“A team of national response team from Uganda Red Cross Society have been deployed to handle hygiene promotion in the camps. Social mobilisation for behavioral change targeting all households to ensure proper personal and community hygiene practices as a way of minimising risk for disease outbreaks,” Irene said.
Red Cross team showing the refugees how water should be used on a leaflet. Photos by Elema
She added that a 15 stance communal latrine is to be constructed at the reception centre as well as hand washing facilities installed to address “WASH” components.
She said under this they target to train refugees on proper hand washing, latrine construction and use, maintenance and other routine activities.
But as the population of refugees grows and funding gaps remains a challenge. Their target is to meet the most critical needs which are being addressed by the Water Hygiene and Sanitation program.