New Congolese refugees in Uganda face shelter, water shortages

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Displaced people on the move with belonging in N. Kivu province, DRC

Over 15,500 Congolese refugees who have fled into western Uganda have now been transferred away from the unsafe border area to a transit camp where aid agencies are able to provide humanitarian assistance, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

The transit centre 25 kilometers deeper into Uganda is government managed and has a maximum capacity of 25,000 people.

UNHCR and government partners are running 15 trucks non-stop all day transferring refugees and their possessions from four primary school sites where they had initially been staying.

Nearly 66,000 Congolese refugees have sought refuge in western Uganda over the past week following a rebel attack on the town of Kamango in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Adrian Edwards is the UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"The transit center itself is a temporary facility. The aim is that it should be there for no more than three weeks. It is considered safe, but UNHCR and Uganda's Office of the Prime Minister are looking at other relocation sites for people to get into particularly if this moves to a longer term crisis, people can get access to land, protection to facilitate farming if they have to and also to allows us to deliver food rations and other services. Children between the ages of nine months and 15 years are now being vaccinated against diseases, they are receiving Vitamin A supplements and de-worming tablets. Medical teams are also going tent-to-tent to identify sick refugee children and identify anybody with nutrition problems." 

UNHCR staff along the border with Uganda also says there is a steady stream of refugees ferrying their possessions back into Eastern DR Congo.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.43″

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