Water shortage hits Rhino refugee camp
Publish Date: Apr 13, 2014
Water shortage hits Rhino refugee camp
Women and children fetching water from a water truck that supplies Rhino Resettlement Camp in Arua district. Photo by Francis Emorut
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By Francis Emorut

REFUGEES at Rhino camp in Arua district have complained of inadequate water supplies despite new water technology that produces 20,000 litres of water per day.

According to Hillary Kupajo the operations manager of Uganda Red Cross Society the new technology which he termed as ‘mobile technology’ is intended to provide refugees with clean and safe water unlike before when they were drinking water from the springs.

The new technology involves pumping water from River Enyau into two tanks of 10,000 of litres each and then it's filtered before transmitting it into treatment plant for final consumption.

A worker inserts a water pipe into river Enyau before it is pumped out and treated using the new technology at the camp. Photo by Francis Emorut

Kupajo said with the new initiative outbreak of water borne diseases has been prevented.

Children and women collect jerrycans once they see a water truck approaching the camp.

The new technology was installed by Uganda Red Cross Society in conjunction with German Red Cross, Belgium Red Cross and International Federation Red Cross (IFRC) based in Nairobi.

Much as this technology produces clean and safe water the refugees are still complaining that they don’t have adequate supply of water.

Children line up for water at the camp. Photo by Francis Emorut

“We spend some days without bathing and it is worse when you have patients,” Ale Ajale a South Sudanese refugee said.

She was backed by Jilda Alur who pointed out that one water truck only supplies water to a total of 16,317 refugees twice a day.

“The water supply is not enough we can’t even wash and attempts to have the 10,000 litre water tank repaired has not yielded results,” Alur said.

The refugees have drawn the attention of humanitarian agencies to have the tank repaired or use Siripi Primary School’s tank where they can draw water without success.

A worker explains how the water treatment plant using new water technology for supplying water to the camp works. Photo by Francis Emorut

Kupajo admitted that water supply is inadequate it requires four trucks to supply water for refugees instead of one truck.

He explained that the damaged tank would be repaired and as for the school tank the administration refused the humanitarian agencies to use it.

“The school administration denied us access to its tank fearing that the refugees will vandalize it. They only use it for harvesting water and they lock it,” Kupajo said.

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