Japan-funded projects benefit refugees and host communities in Kamwenge
UNICEF’s mobile phone application reunites over 900 Congolese children with their families
Kamwenge, 20 February, 2014: More than 57,736 refugees and host communities at the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement camp are accessing clean water, dignitaries from UNICEF and the Embassy of Japan in Uganda witnessed today.
The Deputy Ambassador of Japan to Uganda, Yutaka Nakamura, and the UNICEF Representative, Aida Girma, visited two solar-powered motorised boreholes with backup generators and a 7 km piped network.
The projects also include seven public water collection stands points in the camp and at a secondary school, a health centre and a religious centre. Both systems are installed with four 10,000-litre overhead tanks and are supported with a treatment house. In addition, UNICEF supported construction of 8 boreholes in the settlement and of these 4 are solar powered. In total, the settlement and the host community is served with 56 boreholes.
At Rwamanja, UNICEF’s innovative family tracing and reunification tool, the Rapid FTR, was explained. The Rapid FTR is a versatile open source mobile phone application and data storage system that helps humanitatrian workers to rapidly collect, sort and share information about unaccompanied and separated children in emergency situations so that they can be registred for care services and re-unite with their families. Information about separated children is immediately shareable amongst partners, and across camps and borders, while also avoiding the need to re-interview children multiple times at every place they end up (initial registration, transit camps etc). The technology’s versatility and open-source nature allows for each organisation to use it on a device of their choosing as well as share data safely between organisations when necessary. Since July 2013, UNICEF’s partner, Save the Children, has used RapidFTR to facilitate the reunification of 621 separated and 306 unaccompanied children with their families within 72 hours of arrival at the camp.
U-report, a free SMS service designed to give young Ugandans a chance to voice their opinions on issues that they care about has also been deployed in the refugee settlement to report on a variety of issues, including child protection concerns. Cases of abuse have been reported through U-report and resolved by local Child Protection Committees. Ten committees are established at Rwamwanja.
UNICEF has established 10 child-friendly spaces, where nearly 3,000 children participate in structured activities and receive counselling.
The projects that Deputy Ambassador Nakamura and Ms. Girma visited have been realised with the funding of 8 million USD from the Government of Japan that enabled UNICEF to respond to the Congolese refugee humanitarian situation in the south and south-western Uganda and the immediate needs of women and children in the disadvantaged, semi-arid, north-eastern sub-region of Karamoja. The funding was also used to construct sustainable school based rain water harvesting systems in 50 water-stressed communities of Ntoroko and Kabarole districts.
In Rwamwanja, under the overall coordination of UNHCR and OPM, UNICEF works with implementing partners including Save the Children, Kamwenge Local Government, Water Mission Uganda and Goal.
For further information please contact:
Ms. Kazumi KAWAMOTO, Coordinator for Economic Cooperation,
Embassy of Japan, Tel: +256-414-349-542/3/4, E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.ug.emb-japan.go.jp
Mr. Gerry P. Dyer, Chief Field Operations, UNICEF Uganda, Telephone: +256 4 1717 1450, Mobile: +256 7 1717 1450, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Charles-Martin Jjuuko Communication Specialist, UNICEF Uganda,Tel: +256 4 1717 1111, Mobile line: +256 71717 1111, Email: email@example.com, www.unicef.org/uganda, www.facebook.com/unicefuganda, @UNICEFUganda
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