Uganda Refugee Response Monitoring Settlement Fact Sheet: Olua | June 2018
Originally closed in 2006 after many South Sudanese refugees returned home, Olua I/II were reopened in 2012 to host another influx of South Sudanese refugees fleeing inter-communal violence. Settlement residents, similarly to other refugees in Adjumani district, live in close proximity to Ugandan nationals and share services and institutions with the host community. Although there is relatively peaceful coexistence between communities, refugees face challenging conditions and need more extensive assistance relating to livelihoods opportunities and education in particular.
Gaps & Challenges
High tuition fees, the absence of scholarship opportunities, a lack of teaching facilities and schools have led to many children dropping out of school. Moreover, language barriers have further prohibited students performanc. Refugees also reported there are no feeding programs in the schools and due to the long distances to the schools, students are unable to walk home for lunch.
The long distance to the health center damages refugees’ and the nationals’ ability to access health services. This is impacted by the broken bridge leading to Bira Health Center III, which they need to use when Lewa Health Center does not have the services they need. The overcrowding, inadequate stock of medication and insufficient number of health workers leads to poor delivery of health services. Refugees reported health workers do not respond rapidly to emergency cases further deteriorated by the weak referral system available.
The lack of income generating activities, village saving groups and associations, vocational trainings and land available for agriculture has made it challenging for refugees to meet their basic needs. Therefore, refugees are unable to start small scale businesses as they do not have the required skills and capital.
Persons with special needs (PSNs) suffer in particular from inadequate shelter structures. Limited resources is provided to them to ensure they have safe and stable homes. Refugees overall reported having insufficient construction materials, no means to buy them and a poor quality of tarpaulins provided making it difficult for them to construct their homes.
Both refugees and nationals highlighted their difficulties in accessing clean water. Olua settlement does not have motorized boreholes and communities thus rely on hand pumps, creating severe congestions. Moreover, the water was reported to be of poor quality leading to the use of unclean water for washing and bathing. PSNs were reported to also use the unsafe water for drinking purposes, which can cause illnesses.