- Oxfam was the lead organisation in a consortium that included CARE International, Save The Children and CEFORD, a local organisation
- The consortium appreciates the EU’s humanitarian support for the project which has not only transformed the lives of refugees
- 236,982 refugees and host communities reached by the ECHO project
- 207,289 people have access to safe and clean water
- 228,441 – reached by the gender and protection interventions
Kampala- The international aid organisation Oxfam and partners have successfully concluded a Shs 21 billion project that was funded with European Union Humanitarian Aid and supported over 200,000 South Sudanese refugees and their host communities in West Nile region.
The project, launched at the beginning of last year, provided water, sanitation and hygiene services to refugees and host communities in Yumbe, Arua, Moyo and Adjumani districts. The most vulnerable refugees also benefited from new semi-permanent homes and services to keep them safe from violence and disease.
In the project, three solar powered water systems were set up and 10 hand pumps drilled to improve access to clean water.
According to Mr Theophillus Emanu, Oxfam Field Response Manager, the safe water supply helped to improve hygiene and sanitation practices and, by extension, reduce the cases of water borne diseases like diarrhea and malaria.
“The European Union grant was timely. We were able to respond to the basic needs of refugees including water, shelter and protection at the peak of the influx in April 2017.”
Mr Emanu added that: “We started with water trucking and constructing temporary shelters. As the number of refugees coming in per day reduced, we embarked on more permanent and sustainable interventions like putting up motorised piped water systems, household latrines, as well as centres to handle gender and protection cases. We appreciate how much difference this project has created although gaps still exist as refugees strive to build resilience in their new home.’’
South Sudanese women fetching water that is powered by the solar system. Photo by Felix.
As the number of school going children increased, 36 Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres were set up by Save the Children to ensure that children are protected and get a chance to learn and play.
The Save the Children Project Manager, Cephas Hamba said the ECCD centres have provided safe spaces where children can exercise their right to play, associate and enjoy their childhood.
“Over 7,835 children have been attended to by our caregivers to address their traumas, isolation and nightmares resulting from the tragedies they experienced back in South Sudan.”
Over 14,000 vulnerable people were reached with special care for sexual and gender-based violence, illness or for being elderly or physically disabled.
Delphine Pinault, CARE Uganda Country Director said: “The link between access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene services and prevention of gender-based violence has proven evident through this intervention. Our integrated approach has given many women and girls their dignity back,”
While lives have been transformed, a lot still remains to be done. Funding for the South Sudan crisis remains low with a glaring gap of 62 per cent. The government of Uganda, in coordination with UNHCR, still needs $541.5 million to respond effectively according to the last appeal.