Baratuku, initially established in 1991, has hosted successive waves of South Sudanese refugees since the Second Sudanese War. The settlement’s current population is comprised of South Sudanese refugees from the 1990s, who were not able to return home, and recent arrivals who have fled the country since 2013. Humanitarian organizations have begun to shift from emergency response to stabilization. With some emergency-focused partner organizations scaling down or ending their operations, it is critical that gaps in assistance are filled to ensure refugees have sufficient support.
Gaps & Challenges
There is a significant lack of schools, classrooms, teachers and school materials, which weakens refugee students’ access to quality education and their learning environment. Students are also unable to reach high levels of education as the primary school only goes up to P5 and there are no secondary schools. Both refugees and host community members stressed the absence of feeding programs in the schools, which has caused high levels of absenteeism.
The long distance to the health center combined with the lack of ambulance services makes accessing health services challenging.
Refugees reported this is worsened by the poor referral system available. Pregnant mothers often find themselves delivering their babies at home or on the way to the health center. Additionally, the facility is poorly equipped and with an insufficient supply of medication forcing both refugees and host community members to buy medication from private clinics, which many cannot afford.
There are few boreholes accessible to the refugee community with not all of them being functional, refugees reported. This creates an important gap in the access to water for both refugees and the host community. Both communities reported that the provision of drinking water is not regular leading to breaks of supply of several days. Moreover, the FGD participants noted that they find the quality of the water to be poor.
Both refugees and host community members have reported a lack of access to land for agricultural purposes, combined with a lack of access to capital to start small scale businesses and of income generating activities (IGAs). This leads to difficulties for the population to obtain a sustainable income to cover basic needs.
The food distributed is both insufficient and delayed forcing refugees to offer casual labor in the host communities to earn a small income to acquire more food items. Refugees also find themselves borrowing food from those with smaller families.
There is limited access to building materials for the construction of shelters. Refugees complained the tarpaulins provided were of poor quality and get torn easily. Additionally, there is a lack of support provided to persons with special needs (PSNs), such as the elderly, unaccompanied minors, separated children and single parents for the construction of their houses.