Kyaka II settlement was established in 2005 to receive the remaining population of Kyaka I following the mass repatriation of Rwandan refugees the same year. After this movement, Kyaka I was closed after 21 years of operations. Renewed violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in mid-December 2017 led to a new refugee influx into Uganda, with an estimated 17,000 new refugee arrivals in Kyaka II.
This brought the settlement's population to roughly 62,535 as of early June 2018.
Gaps & Challenges
Food rations distributed to refugees are reportedly insufficient to last for a month leading to the FGD participants highlighting they reduce their daily food consumption to one meal per day. Moreover, food distributions were reported by the refugees to often be delayed further forcing them to limit their daily food consumption in order for the ration to last them the month. Additionally, refugees emphasized a lack of access to land for agricultural use further exacerbates their food insecurity as they cannot cultivate crops to compensate for the lack of food.
The high tuition fees mean many parents cannot afford putting their children through school or are forced to sell some of their food items and non-food items (NFIs) to acquire more money. There are few schools available in and around the settlement attended by both refugees and nationals, which has led to high overcrowding in classrooms, which combined with the high pupil to teacher ratios, seriously inhibits students’ learning capacities. Moreover, language barriers between teachers and students has increased the poor performance of students.
Both refugees and nationals reported an insufficient number of boreholes in and around the settlement and overall potable water sources. The few that exist are located far away forcing them to walk long distances to reach the sources and creates challenges with regards to transporting the water back to their homes. This is particularly an issue for persons with special needs (PSNs), who often struggle with mobility. Water points are overcrowded leading to long waiting hours. Moreover, refugees emphasized poor latrine coverage around the settlement resulting in open defecation particularly amongst young children and thus increasing the risks of illnesses and sanitation and hygiene issues.
Refugees reported a lack of access to land for agricultural use combined with a lack of agricultural inputs for those who have managed to access some little land, which prevents them from earning an income through agricultural practices. Furthermore, both nationals and refugees have limited access to vocational trainings and access to capital preventing them from starting small scale businesses and thus from achieving self-reliance.
Refugees reported that despite having arrived to the settlement over a month ago they are still living in emergency shelters and not yet been provided with semi-permanent shelters. This is particularly an issue with the heavy rains where refugees reported the shelters often leak.
Health centers refugees and nationals access to receive treatment are ill-equipped lacking in beds, examination equipment, medication and health workers. This severely reduces the quality of services available. Participants reported it often leads to issues of misdiagnosis deteriorated for refugees due to language barriers between them and the doctors.