UNHCR Bi-weekly Operational Update: 1-15 September 2019
Registration of Somali refugees from Eritrea: UNHCR has completed the registration of over 1,000 Somali refugees in Sheder Camp near Jijiga in the Somali Region, following their relocation from Zalambessa, Tigray Region, where they were temporarily sheltered after crossing from Eritrea. A total of 221 families composed of 1,091 individuals completed the registration, including 526 females. Out of the total relocated from Zalambessa, 92 individuals did not report for registration, while nine families composed of 25 individuals who arrived in the camp by themselves, are awaiting verification of their previous refugee status in Eritrea before completing their registration. This includes 338 individuals who were relocated to Melkadida. The Somali nationals were previously registered as refugees in Eritrea and crossed into Ethiopia in June-July 2019 following reports that Emkulu Camp was closing.
Installation of street lights in Assosa camps: A total of 85 solar street lights were installed in the five refugee camps in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, home to over 50,000 refugees, mainly from Sudan and South Sudan. Tongo, Tsore and Sherkole refugee camps received 17 street lights each while 12 were installed in Bambasi and 22 in Gure-Shembola Camp. Street lights are invaluable to contributing to camp security, making the communitiessafer and positively impacting night-time activity, including children playing at night. Meanwhile, a Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey was conducted across the five camps to evaluate the impact of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) projects implemented in Bambasi, Gure-Shembola, Sherkole, Tongo and Tsore camps so far in 2019. The survey, which will also identify the key gaps and challenges faced during implementation, is aimed at improving the WaSH service in the camps. The results will be shared next month.
Renovation of Zalambessa School: UNHCR, together with ARRA and NRC rehabilitated and handed over to the local authorities, Zalambessa school in Tigray Region which temporarily sheltered over 1,500 Somalis who were previously registered as refugees in Eritrea. They were eventually relocated to Jigjiga and Melkadida. The rehabilitation of the school, which included painting and cleaning of 20 classrooms and a staff room, the replacement of doors for 16 latrines, and 40msq of glass windows which were destroyed, in addition to repairs of 315 desks and the renovation of swings in the school playground, were all completed in time for the start of the academic year. The town of Zalambesa in eastern Tigray has long served as a key entry point for newly arriving Eritrean asylum seekers, and the rrehabilitation of the school fits well into UNHCR’s objective of supporting communities who share the burden of hosting refugees and asylum seekers. The school accommodates over 800 pupils.