Written by Catherine Ntabadde
The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has since December 2011 received and registered 197 Congolese refugees at its Kisoro Branch in Western Uganda. Of the 197 refuges, 83 are children below 5 years.
Today (January 13, 2012), 94 refugees are camped in the URCS Kisoro Branch compound while 19 are at Nteko reception centre, 48km from Kisoro Town. URCS volunteers often travel to Nteko to receive and register the refugees. URCS is using its Kisoro Branch offices to receive and register the refugees.
The refugees are then screened by the Office of the Prime Minister before they are transported to Orukiinga camp by UNHCR.
On 21 December and 6 January, URCS received 82 and 96 refugees respectively. All these have since been sent to Orukiinga camp.
URCS Kisoro Branch has been providing first aid services, health education, shelter and assisting the families to write Red Cross tracing messages.
With support from World Food Programme, URCS is providing food to the refugees who camp at its Kisoro offices. The food is distributed by URCS volunteers using measurements availed by WFP.
Two mobilets and 2 bathing shelters have been set up at URCS Kisoro branch while UNHCR provided five tents for accommodation.
The Secretary General Michael Richard Nataka said URCS will continue playing a key role in helping the refugees keep in contact with their families in DRC through its family tracing programme. The refugees, with assistance from URCS volunteers will generate messages which will then be delivered to DRC by ICRC.