KAMPALA, JUNE 12, 2015(CISA)- Hundreds of refugees from Burundi continue flocking Uganda after dire conditions push them out of Tanzania where they had initially fled, Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) has reported.
According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Burundian refugees arriving in Uganda since November 2014 is now over 7,700 with the refugees coming in at a rate of approximately 144 persons a day since June 1.
As of 2 June, some 7,659 Burundian refugees, mostly women and children, had arrived in Uganda through Rwanda and Tanzania.
“The cholera outbreak and worsening sanitation conditions in some of the refugee settlements in Tanzania have forced thousands of the Burundian refugees to cross into Uganda. This has created congestion and more pressure on our existing facilities at the reception centres and refugee settlements,” Walter Omondi, the south Western refugee desk officer with the Office of the Prime Minister said.
“We have concerns and fears of disease outbreaks like cholera due to poor waste disposal. We need more facilities and infrastructure at the reception centres and refugee resettlements to improve sanitation as the numbers continue to increase,” he added.
State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru said the new influx “comes at a time when we are overstretched and overwhelmed with the number of other refugees from South Sudan and DRC.”
According to the minister, Uganda currently hosts some 226,880 DRC refugees and 139,280 from South Sudan.
“The numbers of new arrivals are on the increase. The past week daily rate has been increased to 250 to 300 asylum seekers entering per day,” said Sakura Atusmi, deputy country representative of UNCHR.