Mungula I/II have consistently hosted South Sudanese refugees since it was first established in 1996. As a result, there are close linkages between settlement residents and the neighbouring host community. While implementing and operational partners initially provided critical support during the South Sudanese refugee emergency, a strategy for empowering local organizations to carry on activities in the medium and long-term response is essential.
Gaps & Challenges
Refugees have to travel long distances to reach the health center, which has a shortage of facilities and medication. This leads to the patients having to purchase the medication from private clinics, which many cannot afford preventing them from accessing the right treatment. Due to the lack of facilities patients have to wait long hours exacerbated by the lack of health workers. There are poor referral procedures in the health center worsened by a limited ambulance service to reach the hospital in Adjumani.
The high tuition fees mean refugees and host community members struggle to access education and find themselves only able to pay fees of half the school term leading to many students dropping out. The quality of the education accessed is poor due to the lack of learning materials, limited number of teachers and congestion in the classrooms, and the language barrier between the teachers and the students.
Refugees complained about lack of support in the construction of their shelters aggravated by limited access to building materials such as grass and poles. They reported leaking shelters to be common, causing a particular problem during rainy season and forcing them to shift locations within the house to avoid getting wet.
Food security has deteriorated due to the delayed and insufficient distribution of food. Refugees complained not having received food in March and April. Moreover, refugees lack access to land for agricultural purposes. The cost of renting land from the host community is high, which many cannot afford. The crops yielded are often soiled by pests and diseases or destroyed by natural hazards such as floods.
Refugees and the host community reported facing congestion at the water points where the communities often have to queue for over two hours. The boreholes are also located far away from the refugees' area of residence leading to them walking two hours to reach the water sources. Both refugees and the host community emphasized finding the quality of the water to be poor. Moreover, there is poor latrine coverage due to inadequate latrine construction materials available.
Strengths & Opportunities
Refugees and the host community coexist peacefully. As the settlement was established in 1996, strong ties have been built between the two communities over time. Refugees are able to rent large areas of land from the host community, which helps them become selfreliant. Programs targeting refugees also entail support to host community members. Institutions and facilities serve both populations, promoting close interaction.
There are strong leadership structures overseen by the Refugee Welfare Committees (RWCs). These include the child protection committee, the water source committee, the gender task force, etc. The established structures have provided leadership and enhanced the RWCs’ coordination with local councils. These support the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and others in linking the partners to the beneficiaries, and therefore eased access to communities as well as to services.