In the 25 villages and 1650 households of Nalutuntu Sub County in Mubende District, Uganda, where YICE operates, are over 600 refugee households that were re-settled in this Kyakatebe Parish, Bukompe village by the government of Uganda – coming from Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo in early 2015.
Bukompe Refugee camp is one of the small camps in Uganda that attracts No or little attention from local government or big development partners. The camp is home to over 700 refugee households from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. In total, the camp has a population 2800, and 75% of these are women and children.
Over 90% of households in the camp depend only on small scale farming on the small plots of land provided by the government (measuring 100 by 200 feet each). Consequently, households have to plant on the same pieces of land every season to get what to eat which degrades the soil, reduces food productivity and leads to food insecurity, poor feeding for children and lack of income in the households. In fact, in 2016, none of the refugee households was able to produce enough food for home consumption and sale.
In addition, Locals are forced to get water from stagnant surface water sources like ponds and dams that are contaminated, dirty and are shared with animals (cows, goats and sheep). Animals visibly defecate in these water sources. During dry season, these ponds dry up, so access to water becomes an even larger problem for the community. There are no boreholes or tapped water, not even inactive ones. The majority are unable to harvest water from their roofs because 98% of this refugee populations sleep in makeshift plastic tents, and grass thatched houses.
From 2012 to date, the program has directly impacted 1025 Farmers, with over 160 refugees benefiting. These have attained practical training in better farming practices, organic farming and marketing for farm produces. Farmers benefiting from this program have seen a 60% increase in farm productivity, and 81% farmers reported had enough food for their families.
Within the refugee camp, YICE Uganda implemented two projects funded by Sundara Fund and VGIF respectively. The Sundara fund project was to pilot soap recycling – where refugee women were involved in reproducing recycled soap from hotels and distributing it to their neighbors. With the project, we signed two hotel partners and recycled up to 570 pieces of soap which was distributed to 270 households in the refugee camp.
In 2016, we implemented a one-year project funded by The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, USA. The project was aimed at promoting incomes for refugee women through production and selling of liquid soap. Over 50 women are benefiting in the project, and we established a small liquid soap making factory in the refugee camp.
We also helped 200 refugee households access water filters funded by Sprouts of Water – which ensures that they have safe drinking water.
Through Sundara fund, a YICE volunteer called Audrey Beaulieu fundraised $10,000 which was used to drill a borehole which now provides safe water to over 500 refugee households in Bukompe.