Monday January 6 2014

South Sudanese refugees expected to hit 30,000



The number of refugees fleeing the raging war in South Sudan into Uganda is expected to hit 30,000 people. The Uganda Red Cross and international relief agencies confirmed the influx of the refugees into West Nile, the main point of entry by road to and from South Sudan.

Uganda Red Cross Society head of communications, Catherine Makumbi Ntabadde said government and humanitarian agencies in the region had commenced a joint assessment to identify population needs.

The exercise will establish refugee numbers in the border districts of Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani. Officials from the office of the Prime Minister, UN agencies, UNHCR and UNICEF, the World Food Programme and Inter-Aid held a meeting in Adjumani on Friday over the matter.

By yesterday 8,582 refugees had been registered in Adjumani at the transit centres of Dzaipi and Elegu, operated by the UNHCR. District leaders want the refugees to be moved to a bigger area citing sanitation challenges. Adjumani District chairman, Nixion Owole said district and local council III chairpersons “will discuss ways to relocate refugees at Dzaipi reception centre which is currently overcrowded.”

28-year-old Nyandit Majok, one of the refugees at the reception centre, said they had resorted to mixing salt and sugar for treating their children already hit by Diarrhoea, “because help from the agencies is taking long.”