Dermawan Berqurban, Berkahnya Bahagiakan Dunia

Waiting for Eid in Refugee Camps in Uganda

12 July 2018

ACTNewsKIRYANDONGO – This country has no coastline at all. It is a landlocked country. In the north, it borders South Sudan; In the east, it borders Kenya; In the west, it borders Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); In the south, it borders Tanzania.

Geographically, Uganda is surrounded by politically unstable countries, weakened by perpetual conflicts. Unfortunately, the condition in Uganda itself is not better than its surrounding countries.

Amidst its effort to build stable government and sustainable economy, Uganda is swelled by refugees.

As the consequence of being in the middle of conflict-ridden countries, Uganda swarmed by a large number of refugees.  

For humanitarian reason, Uganda has to open its borders to host refugees from two countries. From the DRC, hundreds of thousands of refugees sought refuge in Uganda. Meanwhile, for a year, approximately a million of the forcibly displaced from South Sudan have been entering Uganda.

Therefore, in recent year, Uganda has become the country with the fastest growth of refugee population, similar to Bangladesh who has hosted 700,000 Rohingya refugees since August 2017.

In 2017, the number of refugees in Uganda finally reached more than a million. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) claimed that, to this day, the number of refugees in Uganda has reached approximately 1.3 million people throughout Uganda.

The majority of them came from South Sudan, while the rest are those fleeing from violence in DRC. Of the 1.3 million refugees, many of them are Muslims fleeing from political conflict in South Sudan.

Most of the people sought shelter in Uganda are women and children. A new refugee crisis is forming in Uganda.

Waiting for Eid-ul-Adha in Kiryandongo

It was a sunny day in early July 2018 when Global Qurban – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) volunteers visited Kiryandongo, one of Uganda’s largest refugee settlements. It is located in north Uganda, near the border of DRC and South Sudan.

 

Not far from Kiryandongo lies Lake Albert, a lake located between Uganda and the DRC. According to the report from ACT partners in Kirtandongo, the refugees from the DRC came to Uganda through this lake.

“The condition is Uganda is almost similar to that in Somalia. The difference is that the refugees in Somalia are internally displaced people who are impoverished, while the refugees in Uganda came from Congo and South Sudan who are also living in similar condition: impoverished, without access to clean water and adequate housing, relying heavily on humanitarian aid,” said Bambang Triyono of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – ACT.

In Kiryandongo, a number of ACT volunteers also distributed the donation from Indonesia in the form of food aid for the refugees in Kiryandongo. “This is only the first batch of aid for the South Sudanese and Congolese refugees in Uganda,” explained Triyono.

 

After a week in Kiryandongo, approximately 600 families consisting of 42,000 lives received aid packages with red-and-white Indonesian flag printed on them.

Andi Noor Faradiba, GHR coordinator for African regions said that in early July 2018, the first batch of the food aid for the refugees has been fully distributed in Uganda. The distribution process focused on Muslim refugees in Kiryandongo.

Faradiba explained that the aid distribution does not stop here. Global Qurban – ACT volunteers in Uganda is currently finishing the data collection to carry out the next humanitarian mission in Eid-ul-Adha 2018 (1439 AH).

“Please pray for us. For the next humanitarian action, Insha Allah, Global Qurban will expand its distribution to Uganda in Eid-ul-Adha 2018. The distribution locations will be in several refugee camps in Uganda. Approximately thousands of families are going to benefit from the qurbani meat distribution because there is a lot of Muslim refugees in Uganda,” said Faradiba.

The expansion of the qurbani distribution to Uganda will be a new milestone for Global Qurban. Previously, in 2017, Global Qurban has delivered qurbani packages to 40 countries.

“Last year, in Africa, Global Qurban reached Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mauritania, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Somalia, where we sacrificed the largest number of animals,” concluded Faradiba. []

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