The refugee verification exercise that started in March 2018 by the Office of the Prime Minister and UNHCR has ended, revising the active registered population in Uganda to 1,154,352 individuals as of end of October 2018.
In October, over 6,536 refugees arrived from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan and Burundi. Sixty per cent of refugees and host communities are children, who continue to be in need of essential services such as health, nutrition, WASH, child protection and education services, for their survival, development and well-being.
Over 7,000 children are benefitting from the recently concluded 33 multi-purpose education facilities completed in Arua and Yumbe.
Since the Ebola outbreak in Eastern DRC was declared on 1 August 2018, no cases have been reported in Uganda, largely as a result of intensive prevention and preparedness efforts by the Ministry of Health and partners, including UNICEF. Efforts have included risk communication activities that have reached nearly 400,000 people, including 135,000 children.
In October, a flood and landslide affected 13 villages in Bududa district, killing 43 people, including eight children.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Refugees: According to UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the refugee influx remains significant. OPM and UNHCR concluded the countrywide biometric verification exercise of all asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda on 24 October 2018; the active registered population in Uganda stands at 1,154,352 individuals as of end of October. Of these, 785,104 are refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, 284,265 from the DRC, 33,657 from Burundi and 51,326 from Somalia, Rwanda and other countries.
Representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), UNICEF and the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) attended a workshop in Addis Ababa in October aimed at improving leadership and collaboration of local actors to enhance coordination of child protection in preparedness and humanitarian response. As part of this, an Action Plan was developed highlighting key actions that the MGLSD will take on to strengthen coordination and leadership for child protection in emergencies at national and field levels. Moving forward, the MGLSD, as the technical ministry responsible for child protection in Uganda, will co-chair the Child Protection Sector Working Group for the refugee response with UNHCR and UNICEF, and will implement activities to strengthen coordination and emergency preparedness efforts.
The workshop was organised by the Child Protection Area of Responsibility and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in association with the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children.
As of 26 October 2018, the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre of the Ministry of Health (MoH) had not reported any suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Uganda. The MoH and partners continue to intensify risk communication, social mobilization and surveillance, including at points of entry in 28 priority districts, as per the revised national EVD contingency plan, in six existing Ebola Treatment Centres (ETC) in Entebbe, Wakiso district; Naguru, Kampala district; Bundibugyo hospital; Ntoroko health centre 3; Rwebisengo and Bwera, in addition to 10 ETCs to be established in selected very high-risk districts along the border with DRC. Comprehensive surveillance continues in all communities, health facilities and at formal and informal border crossings in all districts, especially the 20 high-risk districts. Alert cases continue to be identified and isolated with blood samples taken for testing to the Uganda Virus Research Institute.
Cholera and other outbreaks
There has been a re-emergence of cholera in Hoima/Kikuube, two months after the second round of the Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign. Two cases aged 20 years (female) and 27 years (male) were confirmed on culture and sensitivity both from Ndongo village in Kikuube district. Cases were found in the communities. This has been attributed to poor sanitation and lack of safe water. Additionally, 14 cases and six deaths of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) were reported between July and October in Kakumiro, Isingiro, Kiboga, Kiryandongo, Nakaseke and Sembabule districts; 14 cases of Anthrax with no deaths in Arua, Kiruhura, Isingiro and Kween districts; and 33 cases and 18 deaths of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) had been reported in 17 districts. A total of 264 measles cases were reported in 76 districts while 157 cases of Rubella were reported in 33 districts.
Floods and Landslides:
In October, a flood and subsequent landslide occurred in Bukalasi sub-county, Bududa district, affecting 13 villages, injuring 21 people, and killing 43, including eight children. Rescue teams from OPM and partners conducted search and recovery of the dead bodies and evacuated the injured. The 139 displaced households are currently hosted by neighbours, relatives and friends who were in safer areas, while the Government finalizes their resettlement. Road infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, and education facilities were destroyed by the incident. Services at the available health facilities in the area are stretched in terms of human resources and medical supplies. According to URCS, more than 4,300 people (2,583 children) across Bududa, Namisindwa, Butalejja, and Manafwa districts in the Mt. Elgon region are at risk given the meteorological forecast of normal to above normal rainfall in most parts of the country until December 2018.