Bundibugyo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Congolese refugees at the Bubukwanga transit camp in Bundibugyo district are crying out for relief assistance.
Last month, more than 650 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC fleeing the war in the eastern part of their country entered Bundibugyo district through Rwamabale sub county in Ntoroko district. The refugees first settled in Burondo, Ntandi town council, Ngamba and Ntotoro sub-counties.
They were later settled at Bubukwanga transit camp in Bubukwanga town council. At the camp, some of the refugees look sick and their children malnourished.
Nestori Bebunina, the camp chairperson says that the conditions at the camp are appalling. He explains that he and other refugees sleep on the bare floor and are overcrowded.
He adds that the majority of the refugees share plates and cups which could expose them to diseases.
Joyce Kyamanyoha says she fled from her home in Budundi in Boga with her four children without clothes and basic household items after the house they were living in was burnt by the rebels.
Sameulle Dite says that they are starving since the food served at the camp is inadequate.
Isa Bambona, another refugee says that the congestion at the camp could lead to an outbreak of diseases. He wants additional space created to cater for the increasing numbers of refugees.
Samson Lingasa from Bogha wants humanitarian organizations to provide the refugees with some of the basic household needs. He adds that the camp lacks enough safe water sources.
Joel Gesisa has opted to offer cheap labour to communities neighboring the camp so that he can have adequate food for his family.
Balimuni Zamare says their children are at risk of getting malnourished due to the absence of food. He says they are depending on one meal per day.
The Bughendera County MP Acrobert Moses Kiiza says that the overcrowding in the camp could expose both the refugees and the host community to Covid-19. He wants the government to transfer some of the refugees to other resettlement areas.
David Mugenyi, a settlement commandant in the Office of the Prime Minister said the refugees will soon receive relief assistance. He also adds that there are plans to expand the transit camp to receive more numbers and observe social distancing.