Lobule refugee settlement was established in September 2013 and hosts over 4,600 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo fleeing the insurgency in their country. Refugees are settled in two zones (A and B), with each hosting four villages. Considering the recent establishment of the settlement, partners have primarily been implementing humanitarian projects in the settlement in order to respond to refugees' emergency needs.
Gaps & Challenges
Refugees and national reported facing difficulties regarding transportation to the health facilities, which has discouraged many from seeking treatment. FGD participants emphasised that the insufficient number of health workers in the health centres has led to long waiting lines and delays in receiving treatment.
Education services are weakened by a lack of teachers, inadequate learning facilities and furniture, an absence of feeding programs in the schools, overcrowding leading to high teacher per student ratios and a lack of teaching materials. Schools are few and located far away from the homes of refugess and nationals, which has further led to high dropout rates.
Potable water points are few and located at a long distance from the refugees' area of residence. This leads to long waiting times and congestion at the water sources as well as fighting between refugees and host communities due to the scarcity of the water. The existing boreholes were reported to be poorly maintained and breaking often with delays in their reparation. Furthermore, the water supply is irregular, with periods of up to one month without water, increasing water scarcity.
Both refugees and nationals lack in access to construction materials, which results in the construction of poor quality shelters unable to withstand winds and flooding. Poverty and the limited availability of grass and water prevents them from renovating their homes.
Persons with special needs (PSNs) are particularly affected by these challenges.
Refugees highlighted the lack of access to land for cultivation, which contributed to deteriorating food security. The majority of refugees are only able to grow vegetables for subsistence farming. Moreover, if they do manage to access land for farming, refugees lack agricultural inputs and improved seeds, which has damaged their agricultural capacities.
Non-food items (NFIs) that were distributed to refugees upon arrival have become damaged or worn out, and have not been replaced.
Refugees, therefore, lack items for cooking, jerry cans for water storage, bedding and sheeting for sleeping, and mosquito nets raising the number of malaria cases.