Uganda Refugee Response Monitoring Settlement Fact Sheet: Nyumanzi | June 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
The health centre serving the settlement is located far away and serves approximately 43,000 refugees leading to congestion in the health facility and damaging refugees’ access to health services. This is aggravated by the lack of ambulance services particularly affecting pregnant mothers who often find themselves giving birth on the way to the centre. The insufficient equipment available preventing proper examinations combined with a limited number of health workers and a poor referral system further deteriorating their access to treatment.
Refugees face a gap in access to non-food items (NFIs). The distribution of NFIs upon arrival means they are now worn out leading refugees to share their items with neighbors. Missing NFIs such as mosquito nets have led to high cases of malaria. Refugees also reported insufficient cooking materials such as saucepans, plates and jerry cans, and a lack of bedding materials such as mattresses and bed sheets.
The absence of scholarship opportunities particularly for post-primary students has caused a high rate of dropouts. Children of secondary school going age are left with no opportunities after completing primary school. The high tuition fees and lack of school feeding programs in the primary school has also impacted access of refugee children to education. This is exacerbated by a poor quality of education due to the congestions in classrooms and high teacher per student ratios.
The insufficient quantity and poor quality of the food distributed to refugees has exacerbated food security in the settlement. Refugees complained that the food cannot last them for a month and is often outdated. Moreover, the lack of land accessible for farming worsens food security as refugees are unable to cultivate food as an alternative.
Shelters are in poor condition which has led to leaking in the homes during the rainy season. The conditions in the homes are made worse due to overcrowding and the refugees sharing shelters to avoid getting wet from the rain. Refugees have no access to building materials to overcome these issues.
Tensions amongst refugees and the host community members have arisen at the water points due to the lack of access to water. The number of boreholes in the settlement are inadequate for the population leading to congestion and long waiting lines. Refugees reported there is poor latrine coverage in the settlement particularly for the people with special needs (PSNs).