Uganda: hard life in internment camps


The inhabitants of Kasese, near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have in recent years experienced many and violent floods in the district of Kasese, as a result of climate change in the region. The camps for displaced people, set up to accommodate the hundreds of victims of these floods, are multiplying. Outside the city, a new camp is said to have opened around a primary school in early September.

From our Special Envoy to Kasese,

Sitting on the stairs in front of the primary school, about fifty displaced people are waiting to be called in to collect their meals. They’ve been sleeping in the classrooms for a few days now. Among them, Janet Abban, who had to flee her home two days earlier. “We are about 20 in the same room. I’m here with my husband and children, we sleep on mattresses and carpets, we do not even have a mosquito net, but we have nowhere else to go, ”says Janet.

In two years, this is the third time Janet and her family have been forced to leave their homes in a few weeks due to the floods. But this time, the stay in the camp will be much longer. “Last time, when the water came down, we went home, but this time it’s worse. You can not even enter through the door, inside it has large piles of clay and it is filled with water, you can not do anything, she says.

► To read also: In Kasese, the floods leave no pause for the inhabitants

“It’s very difficult for the children” A little further, in front of the entrance to the classroom turned into a dormitory, Elias Masereka and his children try to organize the few things they have managed to save from the water. This is the first time her house has been hit by floods. “I’m not ready to stay in a camp. It is very difficult for the children. There is no room for them. We go from a house with five rooms, to a single classroom for the others and my five children, it is very difficult “, says Elias.

Other displaced people, currently installed in camps overcrowded, must also be transferred to primary school. The Kasese district fears that the camps will be stormed during the rainy season from September to November. “There were six camps for displaced people, and now it’s the seventh, it’s a disaster,” said Joseph Singoma, head of climate assistance. “We continue to study the extent of the destruction, welcoming the victims into transit camps, pending a permanent solution from the government.”

In total, about 400 people currently live in the various IDP camps, some for several years already. The Ugandan government has entrusted local authorities with finding land to resettle flood victims.


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