Uganda Refugee Response Monitoring Settlement Fact Sheet: Nyumanzi | January 2018
After opening in January 2014, Nyumanzi has become the largest refugee settlement in Adjumani district in terms of population size. Despite their relatively recent arrival, residents are already well-established and a strong community has emerged in which refugee households actively collaborate with each other to share resources. Although many refugees are resilient, gaps in critical sectors, such as education and water, health and santitation, persist and undermine refugees’ ability to cope with their displacement.
Gaps & Challenges
Frequent delays in food ration distributions contribute to food insecurity. The plots of land allocated to refugees are not large enough to cultivate food or rear livestock, inhibiting opportunities for both income generation and dietary diversification.
Residents’ semi-permanent shelters have become dilapidated due to a lack of materials to reinforce them. Households cannot afford to purchase wood and grass to repair structures, while host community members restrict collection of these materials from their land.
Access to education, especially for secondary school-aged refugees, is limited. Only one of the six primary schools serving the settlement has the final year of primary study, which is required to move on to secondary school. There is no secondary school within the settlement and the closest one, Dzaipi Secondary School, is 10 kilometres away in Zaipi town, making transportation and access to the school difficult.
The only health center serving the settlement cannot adequately meet all residents’ needs. Refugees reported that the clinic is overcrowded and there is a lack of ambulances to assist in emergencies. Diagnoses and treatment are reportedly only available for cases of malaria, and other diseases are left untreated. Some refugees living far from the health center must walk for an hour to seek treatment or use limited funds to pay for transportation.
The basic non-food items (NFIs) are limited and distributed on a case by case basis, benefiting only part of the population. With limited livelihoods opportunities, refugees cannot replace items that were initially distributed to them on arrival but have since depleted or worn out. Children in households that lack items such as blankets and mosquito nets are more susceptible to malaria and other illnesses and many women and girls do not have sanitary materials.
Certain parts of the settlement, particularly blocks C and D, are prone to flooding because of the poor quality of soil and the high water table. Roads in this area are poor and latrines can quickly fill with water following rains. During certain times of the year, bad roads impede partner’s access in the settlement and overflowing latrines create health and sanitation risks.
There is a need for a wellness center, where refugees can safely meet to discuss issues and participate in recreational activities.
Refugees with specific protection needs would benefit from a nearby protection house, a facility to stay on a temporary basis until a durable solution is found.