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South Sudan refugees decry of lacking water…

South Sudan refugees decry of lacking water at Rhino camp
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Bonifacio Taban

15:24 (5 hours ago)

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April 22, 2014 (ARUA) -South Sudanese refugees in Rhino camp say they are facing enormous challenge of lack of water for the last four months in the area. Rhino camp is a home that resettles about fifteen thousand refugees after conflict hit Juba in mid December last year and beginning of January this year.

Rhino camp is composed up of 13 clusters but the most heavily affected is Ocea cluster which is the largest that accommodated over four thousands refugees. Here women and children line up for up to two hours or more to pump water from boreholes or at the nearby suppliable 10,000 liters tanks.

Sarah Nyagut Ding a refugee stay in area says she spend about one and half hour at the queue waiting for water from hand pump to return. She says life in the camp is terrible as other go home without water and end up fetching dirty water in streams which may be danger for their health.

“Our main problem here is lack of water; we have been here for about three days without water supplement from the officials. Most of us stay a week without taking bathing. Some of us go to nearby dirty stream to collect water. We uses to treat the dirty water with ash so that to kill the germs and for us to drink it’, said Ding.

Ding says most women head home empty jerrican water as camp population is double up with local resident and refugee sharing few water facilities.

Kidden Ester another refugees in Ocea clusters say shortage of water have resulted fighting among resident and refugees over few water facilities.

“But the days they have not brought problem are there like yesterday they didn’t bring water and today that is why you can see the line. Even now people have been fighting here, just now sometime the native also threaten Sudanese and then they start now fighting. But after that we can understand each other, people can come and advices then we understand and then again people start fighting again”, said Ester in an interview with Sudan Tribune.

Simon Peter is a chairman of refugees at Ocea cluster says a whole camp that lodges the bigger number had no enough water facilities.

“What we have here, we have four bore holes but one of them is ok it can give us enough water. But other three if you pump it to fill one jerrican it will take half hour so that it can filled the jerrican, sometime if it fill four or six the water will stop”, added Peter.

He said, officials may supply water and sometimes which is not enough, but he says refugees end up without water for maximum of one or two weeks even more days.

Abili David assistant settlement camp commander in Rhino camp says they are speeding up to address the refugees’ challenges on water.

“As I talk now the other people who having as such in a place call Diker 3, three days ago I went there, I have company there they are drilling water. So with that I can even reassure you that soon we are going to solve the problem of water because IP they are coming in and they have give us the supports”, said David.

The assistant camp resettlement says fighting between refugees and host community over water in the camp had been solved through both community leaders’ dialogues.

“Most of the refugees they speak in Arabic and the local people they are speaking in Lugbara, so they fail to pick what each is talking. So for them they may be seeing this one is abusing us that is why we have few people fighting. As per now we have try to talks to them, we have been moving around guiding them, they have now reduces troubling for water”, added the camp assistant.

(ST)