For years Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have lived an insecure existence next to active military barracks in one of the largest spontaneous settlements in South Sudan, Dethoma.
Just after New Year the local military commander announced that 200 families should relocate to another area of the site in order to stay safe. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) helped bring the families to their new home.
In its capacity as Camp Management and Protection agency for Dethoma, DRC undertook the task to coordinate with the local authorities and humanitarian partners to assist the IDP’s on their journey to the new site.
Mary was helped by DRC:
"I got my first shelter from DRC in December 2015 when I arrived at Melut site as a single mother. I was vulnerable and DRC assisted me in the relocation and in the reconstruction of my shelter. All in all the process was good, and I was very impressed," she says.
The relocation begins
The DRC undertook much more than just the relocation, which required a large extent of planning in advance. In late January, the DRC Camp Management team engaged with the Land Department and the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission to secure the land for relocation and proceeded with the demarcation of 180 plots to be allocated to IDP families.
The Camp Management team also liaised with other aid agencies in the area and developed a joint plan for the establishment of basic services at the site - such as water-points and latrines. Moreover the DRC staff conducted an awareness campaign through household visits informing families about the process and identifying vulnerable households.
The relocation kicks of
On February 3rd the relocation kicked off. The DRC Camp Management and Protection teams allocated plots to the affected families; assisted them in transporting their shelter material to the new site and supplied them with plastic sheets to reinforce their shelter in preparation for the rainy season.
The DRC Shelter team also supported vulnerable households in the reconstruction of their shelters through provision of labour and the targeted distribution of construction materials.
By February 10th, the relocation was successfully completed. All 200 families are now residing in the new site - and Mary is very happy with her new home:
"The new plot is better than the old one; it is larger and I even have the space for a garden. I am located near the water tap and latrines are just next door. I am improving my shelter in several ways including putting in a door using materials such as grass. This improves my living standards."