Uganda is host to over 665,040 refugees and asylum seekers originating mainly from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Rwanda.
Over 153,000 children have received deworming and Vitamin A supplementation in the refugee districts of Arua, Adjumani, Kiryandongo, Yumbe, Koboko, Isingiro and Kyegeggwa since July 2016.
Since July, over 40,600 children have been screened for malnutrition in 5 refugee districts with 559 children found to be severe acutely malnourished.
23,500 people are newly benefiting from clean drinking water from 47 drilled boreholes with hand pumps that were installed in Adjumani, Yumbe, Arua, Kiryandongo and Kamwenge districts.
A Yellow fever outbreak in Masaka, Kalangala and Rukungiri was successfully controlled and the country was declared free from Yellow Fever in September 2016. Over 627,000 people have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever this year; out of which, 128,680 were children under five years of age.
In 2016, over 181,703 refugee children were immunized against Polio in the refugee districts of Arua, Adjumani, Kiryandongo, Yumbe, Koboko, Isingiro and Kyegeggwa as of September 2016.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
According to reports from UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister’s (OPM) Department of refugees, there are 410,283 South Sudanese, 219,463 Congolese and 39,902 Burundians in Uganda as at 31 August 2016. The influx of South Sudan refugees to Uganda increased immensely due to recommencement of fighting in South Sudan in early July 2016. Since July, over 181,000 new South Sudan refugees arrived in the country. The new South Sudanese refugees are being hosted mainly in two settlements (Pagirinya and Bidibidi in Yumbe district). The relocation of South Sudanese refugees by UNHCR and the OPM from collection points, transit and reception centers to Yumbe continues on a daily basis. A new refugee settlement (Agojo which is 16km west of Adjumani town) has been established and is now ready to receive refugees.
The Bunagana entry point in Kisoro District continues to receive refugees and asylum seekers from DRC. Since January 2016, 14,500 refugees from DRC have entered Uganda through this entry point. The main reason cited by refugees for escape is forceful abductions and looting by the militia groups in Eastern DRC. Presidential and legislative elections in the DRC that were supposed to take place in November 2016, have now been delayed and an increasing polarization between the opposition and President Joseph Kabila’s PPRD party have led to a tense political climate and anticipated civil unrest in DRC with increased refugee influx of Congolese into Uganda projected.
With the continued refugee arrivals into Uganda, especially over the past few months, social services have become overstretched in host communities, particularly in the sectors of Health, Child Protection, Education,
Nutrition and WASH.
Cholera: The cholera outbreak started in October 2015, and since then, 3,196 cases have been registered in the country in 34 districts. Out of the 34 districts, cholera is currently only active in the five districts of Arua, Amuru, Moyo, Nebbi and Zombo. There have been 95 cholera related deaths reported with District level case fatality rates ranging from 0-33 percent, generally exceeding the WHO threshold. Cholera cases have been reported in South Sudanese refugee hosting settlements in Adjumani and Yumbe. UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, and other partners intervened with cholera treatment, hygiene promotion and WASH and health supplies. Adjumani and Yumbe districts continue to undertake preventive measures against new cholera cases, and no new cases have been reported in these districts over the past month. Cholera sensitization and awareness programme on prevention and control continues in the most at risk districts in the country.
Rift Valley and Yellow Fever
A Yellow fever outbreak in Masaka, Kalangala and Rukungiri was successfully controlled and the country was declared free of the outbreak in September 2016.
The country continues to conduct surveillance and social mobilization on the Rift Valley Fever outbreak which was declared in March 2016 in the district of Kabale. Assessments will take place shortly to determine if the Ministry of Agriculture will need to conduct a vaccination campaign of all animals in Kabale and other neigbouring districts.
During the week of 5-11 September, a cumulative total of 195,424 cases of malaria with 43 deaths (CFR 0.02 percent) were reported. Over 40,062 children affected by the epidemic are under five years of age. Over the past month, there has been a reduction in the number of cases reported in the 10 Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) districts as well as in Arua, which could be due to the onset of the dry spell. Most malaria epidemic districts in Northern Uganda are still above the respective malaria threshold. The most at risk populations are in the districts of Gulu, Nwoya, Amuru, Kitgum, Lamwo, Agago, Pader, Oyam, Apac, Arua and Kole.
Earthquake: On 10 September, Rakai district experienced an earthquake which left 1,601 homesteads affected. A total of 234 households were completely destroyed, 13 institutions were damaged while 14 people were injured. An assessment was carried out by various government departments and the Chief Administrative Officer of Rakai appealed to the government and various stakeholders for support for the displaced population. An estimated 577 children aged 1-14 years were affected out of the 1,170 people in total who were affected.
Bundibugyo Clashes: The majority of people left displaced from the conflict that took place after the February elections in Bundibugyo district have returned to their homes. Only 336 households are yet to return home and 124 of these are located in UNHCR’s Bubukwanga Transit site. In September, the Office of the Prime Minister and Uganda Red Cross Society carried out a detailed assessment of Bundibugyo’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) with support from UNICEF. The main finding from the assessment, is that IDPs lack materials to reconstruct their homes. In the interim, OPM is planning to provide iron sheets to the displaced populations and is working closely with the district to have this activity completed in order to resettle the remaining IDPs.
Returnees from Tanzania: In 2014, 4,500 Ugandans (including an estimated 2,050 children) were expelled from Tanzania and arrived back in Uganda. In June 2016, 4,222 expellees, who were in Sango bay camp since 2013, were moved to a temporary site at Rwentuuha health center in Kyaka 1, Kyegeggwa District. This month, OPM allocated land for permanent settlement to over 3,378 of these people. Currently, there are 844 people still waiting for validation, a requirement before land allocation. In general, children in the settlement are in need of Health, WASH, Child Protection and Education services. The Kyegeggwa District Local Government is organizing sector focused assessments to find out the specific needs of the newly resettled people. An appeal for support will be made to partners thereafter.