Kiryandongo refugee settlement, originally established in 1990, was re-opened in 2014 during the South Sudanese emergency and now hosts almost 60,000 refugees. The majority of refugees are from South Sudan, with a small number from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Sudan. Although now closed to new arrivals, partners continue to facilitate settlement of relocated protection cases.
Gaps & Challenges
Both refugees and nationals reported facing challenges when accessing health services. There are few health centers available located far away and a lack of reliable ambulance services, which have been affecting patients’ ability to seek treatment. The facilities are poorly equipped, lack medical supplies and specialized doctors which has led to patients not receiving appropriate care for their illlnesses. Additionally, FGD participants reported cases of women not receiving antenatal care when giving birth on the way to the hospital.
Access to clean and potable water is limited. Water sources are located far away from households and the water quality was reported to be poor due to rusty pipes. High levels of congestion arise at the water points as there are insufficient boreholes in and around the settlement, that are often leaking, and there is low water pressure, which has led to long waiting times. The lack of access to water supplies has led to poor levels of hygiene in the settlement. Moreover, refugees highlighted a lack of latrine coverage in the settlement mainly caused by insufficient access to latrine construction materials.
Overcrowding in classrooms, unqualified teachers, lack of school materials and the long distance children have to travel to reach the schools have led to high dropout rates. This has been deteriorated due to high tuition fees particularly in secondary school and the inability of parents to pay for examination fees. The youth face crucial difficulties in accessing tertiary education and vocational education opportunities due to the high competition and the lack of vocational training institutes.
Refugees reported there is a poor distribution process whereby the distribution of the food is often delayed or insufficient, which has led some to reduce their food consumption to one meal per day. Moreover, there are missing names in the food logs or some refugees do not have their food cards, which means they are unable to collect their food rations. Both refugees and nationals highlighted the lack of land accessible for agriculture preventing self-sustainability.
Multiple cases of rape and assault against young girls have been reported. Women are particularly vulnerable when fetching firewood where they are often attacked. Moreover, refugees and nationals reported high rates of theft in the home deteriorating their security. Refugees also noted they continue to suffer from the trauma experienced in their home country and struggle to access psychosocial support.