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East Congo and Uganda: Refugee camps overflowing

Flight to Uganda

The first refugee convoys from East Congo reach camps in Kyangwali

There is renewed and bloody fighting between the rebels and the Congolese army in Eastern Congo. The flows of refugees continue unabated. Within the country, refugee camps are already overflowing. Every day, entire families make their way eastwards. Their destination: Uganda. But things hardly improve once they cross the border - the transit camp in Bundibugyo, which was designed for 12,500 people, has now absorbed 20,000 refugees. The hygiene situation in the tent city is miserable. There are not enough latrines, hardly any water and no space for new arrivals.

Welthungerhilfe staff Gunther Schramm at the refugee camp in Kyangwali.
Welthungerhilfe staff Gunther Schramm at the refugee camp in Kyangwali.
Inside Congo, refugee camps are already overflowing. Families flee towards Uganda. © Herzau
Inside Congo, refugee camps are already overflowing. Families flee towards Uganda. © Herzau
Every day, entire families make their way eastwards, not knowing when they can return.© Herzau
Every day, entire families make their way eastwards, not knowing when they can return.© Herzau

Alternate camp in Kyangwali

Together with UNHCR, the Ugandan government designated an area of approximately 200 kilometres in the North-West to set up a new camp. Working with Alliance2015-Partner CONCERN, Welthungerhilfe analysed the very thinly populated region and now supports 850 families with the relocation from Bundibugyo to the new camp Kyangwali. Tools and building materials are provided to the families, so they can build simple accommodations. Hygiene kits are also distributed, and latrines are built. The region on Lake Albert offers fertile soil that is well suited for agriculture. This is an important aspect, since it is not clear when and if the Congolese will be able to return to their homeland. Welthungerhilfe distributes agricultural implements and quickly-maturing seed so they do not have to depend on food packages.

The first refugee convoy has arrived

The situation in their homeland is unbearable: The public administration body has collapsed, and decades of fighting have robbed many Congolese of any hope for peace. Despite the catastrophic situation, families are finding it hard to relocate to the far-away Kyangwali camp because it means that it will be a long time before they can return home. To them, it feels as if they are stumbling from one uncertainty to the next. The transportation of the families is also fraught with numerous problems. Since the beginning of the rainy season, roads and access paths, which were already in bad condition, are even more difficult to pass. The first convoy of 80 families reached the camp in Kyangwali without any major issues last week. Local employees are confident that the remaining families will be safely brought to Kyangwali during the next days and weeks.

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Further information

Learn more about our partners here:

Alliance2015
Reaching the Millennium
       Development Goals

CONCERN
CONCERN worldwide

Project: Airport Goma

Goma is the biggest city in Easter Congo – with a population of half a million. In January 2002 the volcano Niyragongo erupted and buried large parts of the city and the airport under massive layers of lava. Welthungerhilfe supported the reconstruction of the runway. Watch the project documentation here.

Video: Airport of Goma

Projects by/with: Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V., Auswärtiges Amt, Régie des Voies Aérienne, Sapsama, Safricas