February 5, 2014

Refugee Camps In Water Crisis

South Sudan refugees in Rhino, Invepi and Dzaipi refugee settlement camps in West Nile region are facing an acute water crisis. Most of the water sources found close to the camps have dried up as a result of the long dry spell.
Hundreds of refugees camp at one boreholes with their jerry cans and other untensils as they wait to get clean water
Hundreds of refugees camp at one boreholes with their jerry cans and other untensils as they wait to get clean waterop
Joual Manok, one of the leaders in Imvepi camp says the water crisis is serious to the extent that some families go for days without taking a bath.

Currently they are relying on water supplied by a water tanker from Arua police but says it cannot even last for five hours.

The situation is worse at Dzaipi reception center in Adjumani district, which has more than 35,000 refugees. Rose Amani, one of the residents says of Dzaipi says they have been spending sleepless nights to get water since the arrival of the refugees.

She says they spend about seven hours on average to fetch water, which means they have to abandon their other duties. Amani says the high number of refugees have overwhelmed the available water sources.

Officials from the Office of the Prime minister say they are liaising with the respective water departments in Koboko, Arua and Adjuman to address the water crisis.

John Arinaitwe, the refugee desk officer says they have already agreed with National Water and Sewerage Corporation, other partners and police fire department to avail water to camps in Arua district daily.

He says the situation is still complicated in Koboko and Adjumani district due to lack of a piped water system.

He however, says they are working with district to explore the possibility of sinking more boreholes to address the water crisis in the long run.

West Nile has become home to thousands of South Sudanese refugees fleeing fighting in their country between government forces and rebels loyal to Riek Machar, the former South Sudan vice president.

Clashes broke out in December last year following reports of an attempted coup against the South Sudan government led by General Salva Kiir. The influx of the refugees has piled pressure on the available facilities.

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