COVID-19 Response in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement

Uganda is currently home to more than 1,310,000 refugees, of whom approximately 835,000 come from South Sudan, 365,000 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the remainder from other countries. The Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement divided into six zones between of  Ocea, Siripi, Eden, Tika, Odubu, and Ofua hosts an estimated population of 86,975 as of June 2017 statistics representing 22,983 households with 17% of this population representing the host community. 80.6% South Sudanese, 17.7% Ugandan citizens, and 1.7% other nationalities

With the prevalence of Covid-19 pandemic around the world, it is no doubt that such areas as refugee camps and settlements are high risk areas. In response to the situation refugee led organisations have come together to ensure that the community takes full preventive measures in accordance to the Ministry of Health guidelines. This has been done through the 3 months Refugee Emergency Response on COVID-19 Project by the Youth Social Advocacy Team (YSAT).

The 3 months’ project is aimed at enhancing Risk Communication, Community Engagement & Infection prevention and control in combating COVID-19 by addressing KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE and PRACTICE of refugees and host communities as they respond to the pandemic. Some of the activities so far done is conducting road drive public system communication to sensitise communities about Covid-19, Installation of 90 Handwashing stations in communal centers in Rhino Camp, Provision of Airtime credit to refugees leaders to be able to communicate any emergencies, Distribution of soap through door to door using Village Health Teams and disseminating translated IEC materials languages used in the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement.

John Jal Dak

Youth Social Advocacy Team (YSAT)