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School Gets Classroom Block For Hosting DRC Refugees :: Uganda Radionetwork
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School Gets Classroom Block For Hosting DRC Refugees

Located less about 60 meters at the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, the school suspended operations for almost two weeks and hosted about 5,451 asylum seekers in October 2022 fleeing heavy fighting between the March 23 Movement (M23 rebels) and Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in North Kivu province.
Learners in front of the classroom block constructed by UNHCR

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 A school in Kisoro district has been rewarded with a classroom block and pit latrines for hosting refugees from DRC late last year.

The one hundred and seventy-eight million shillings’ infrastructure constructed at Bunagana primary school in Bunagana town council was a reward from Un Refugee Agency-UNHCR.

It includes a 3-classroom block, 5 stance latrines, and a 10,000 rainwater harvesting tank.

The funds were given to the school in December 2022 by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) with support from the government of Ireland in appreciation in thanks for hosting Congolese refugees.

Located less about 60 meters from the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, the school suspended operations for almost two weeks and hosted about 5,451 asylum seekers in October 2022 fleeing heavy fighting between the March 23 Movement (M23 rebels) and Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in North Kivu province.

The school resumed operations after the asylum seekers were transferred to Nyakabande reception center.

Officials from Kisoro District officials led by Sheik Shafique Ssekandi, Resident District Commissioner, and Sharmake Hassan, the UNHCR Emergency Operations Coordinator in charge of Kisoro district handed over the structure to the school’s administration.    

Sharmake Hassan commended the cooperation between humanitarian aid agencies and district leadership which enabled the structures to be constructed swiftly.

Ssekandi said in addition to constructing the structures at the school, UNHCR is also constructing another block in the form of a ward at Nyakabande health center III in Nyakabande sub-county and Bunagana health center II in Bunagana town Council.

He also says that communities in the border sub-counties and town councils which will receive planting seeds and some cash from UNHCR. 

Abel Bizimana, Kisoro District LC5 Chairman welcomed construction of the structures saying that in addition to boosting education standards of the school, it will also act as a temporary accommodation incase the crisis resumes abruptly. 

//Cue in: “since last year….     

Cue out: …next influx.”//  

The Kisoro district Education officer, Mwunvaneza Emmanuel says that the school has so far a total of 702 pupils and needs more structures despite the support given by UNHCR.

A lull of gun sounds has been observed in North Kivu province from late last year since the deployment of Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, and South Sudan under East African Community Regional Force.

DR Congo government has also always accused Rwanda of backing M23 rebels. But M23 and Rwanda have repeatedly strongly denied.  M23 rebels claim to be fighting against bad leadership based on corruption, xenophobia and discrimination.      

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