IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa - June 2018 Bulletin
IOM Provides Piped Water to Uganda’s Largest Refugee Settlement
With an estimated host population of 270,000 people, most of them refugees fleeing conflict from South Sudan, Bidi Bidi settlement has been grappling with limited access to water.
The host community and refugees have for a long time had to rely on water trucks supplying water for domestic use which was costly and unreliable. Consequently, over the last two years, humanitarian agencies have been pushing for more sustainable ways of supplying water, bringing the dependence on water trucking down to about 27 per cent by the end of 2017.
IOM with support from the European Union, has established a piped water system in the north-western district of Yumbe. The new water system, that took six months to complete, has 18 kilometres of laid pipes, and a reservoir that holds over 230 cubic metres of water, making it the largest reservoir in the Yumbe district.
Robert Baryamwesiga, the Bidi Bidi settlement commandant, told IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Ali Abdi that the new system would help cut reliance on costly and unsustainable water trucking by nearly 12 percent.
**IOM bolsters young entrepreneurs in Kampala Slums **
IOM’s Strengthening Social Cohesion and Stability in Slum Populations (SSCoS) project handed over an assortment of commodities for 52 small business owners in slums around Kampala. This was under another that supports young men and women to start up and manage their own businesses. So far, 175 young men and women have received business support items.
The project’s logic of change is that if young people are supported to gain skills and establish and run sound businesses, or find meaningful employment, they will not be vulnerable to radicalization.
The support items were handed over to IOM Uganda’s implementing partners in the slums. They included sewing machines, salon equipment such as chairs and mirrors, computers, printers and photocopiers, fridges, and a wide range of merchandize for stocking shops.
In South Sudan, more than 10,000 people receive shelter assistance in Upper Nile
Tonga, an isolated area in South Sudan’s Upper Nile Region, is home to thousands of people, including returnees, internally displaced persons and host communities. In May, more than 10,000 people in the area received shelter assistance and household items from IOM and the Africa Development Aid.
An assessment conducted in May revealed that thousands of people in the area needed humanitarian assistance. Many people were displaced from Tonga in April 2017 following clashes between Government and opposition forces but have since returned to their homes. Whilst others have fled to Tonga to escape fighting in other parts of the country such as southern Unity, where renewed violence is inflicting a devastating toll on civilians.
While some sense of normality has returned to Tonga, fighting and isolation have left the area without basic services. IOM and other aid agencies are rushing to provide humanitarian support as the May-to-October rainy season begins to intensify. Tonga, which is located on the West Bank of River Nile, is only accessible by air and boat.
Lina, 27, is living in Tonga with her two children. She is among those who fled Tonga but have since returned to rebuild their lives. She has been uprooted from her home three times since 2013 and when fighting broke out in Tonga in April 2017, she fled to Fangak, a nearby town only to return a year later.
Having left or lost most of their belongings, families like Lina’s were in urgent need of plastic sheeting to cover their makeshift shelters, blankets to protect their children at night and mosquito nets to prevent malaria, which will become more prevalent as the rains set in.
This assistance builds on the health support provided by IOM and partners in March 2018 when IOM migration health teams participated in a multi-sector assessment and response mission in the area. During an eight-day mission, IOM supported the Tonga clinic to provide primary health care services where they conducted 413 medical consultations, vaccinated 465 children and reached over 2,200 people with health promotion messages.