Uganda Refugee Response Monitoring Settlement Fact Sheet: Pagirinya | June 2018
Opened in July 2016, Pagirinya settlement hosts more than 32,000 refugees displaced from South Sudan. The humanitarian response across all sectors has now stabilized and is beginning to shift beyond emergency operations. The way the settlement is organised facilitates access to important facilities, including health centers and schools. However, services in many sectors, such as health and nutrition and water, health and sanitation, must be improved to meet the needs of the population.
Gaps & Challenges
Schools are located far away leading to students walking long distances. The schools and classrooms are insufficient, which causes congestion and high teacher per student ratios. Moreover, there are limited school materials further inhibiting students’ learning environment. The tuition fees are too high for most parents to be able to afford and with an absence of scholarship opportunities this has led to children dropping out particularly after primary school.
Both refugees and nationals reported the health centers to be in poor condition as well as poorly equipped leading to patients sleeping on the floor due to the lack of beds. Moreover, health centers consistently face a shortage of medication, which forces patients to purchase drugs from private clinics, which many cannot afford. The health centres are located far away and with the absence of ambulance services, patients struggle to reach the facilities. This is particularly an issue for pregnant women, FGD participants reported there have been cases of women giving birth on the way to the health centres.
The food distributed to refugees was reported by FGD participants to be insufficient to last for a full month and of poor quality where the food is often expired. Moreover, the distribution is often delayed, which means refugees have to last longer than a month with the ration provided. This has affected persons with special needs (PSNs) in particular. Refugees emphasized the lack of land available for cultivation prevents them from overcoming the issues faced due to issues in distribution.
The lack of vocational training institutions has prevented both refugees and the host community from developing relevant skills to access employment opportunities or start their own businesses. This is exacerbated by the lack of capital accessible to start small scale businesses further preventing income generating activities for both communities. Moreover, refugees struggle to access items for agricultural purposes and reported challenges in accessing land to cultivate.
Refugees reported poor latrine coverage throughout Pagirinya settlement. They highlighted a lack of access to construction materials and tools for digging and building the latrines. This has led to refugees resorting to open defacation, which raises the risks of cholera and other illnesses. PSNs are particularly affected by this issue as they are unable to construct their own latrines and thus find themselves using the latrines of neighbors.