Bidibidi settlement in northern Uganda was established in August 2016 and has quickly become one of the world's largest refugee settlements. By January 2017 it was housing more than 270,000 refugees from South Sudan - and had reached its full capacity. NRC is providing water and sanitation services in the settlement. 

In total, Uganda is currently home to about 600,000 refugees from South Sudan. 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Uganda

Velkommen til Uganda

Uganda er blant landene i verden som huser flest flyktninger.

I fjor tok Uganda imot rundt en halv million flyktninger fra Sør-Sudan. Over 270.000 sørsudanere kom til Bidibidi, som på kort tid ble én av verdens største flyktningbosetninger.

Landet huser fra før et høyt antall flyktninger fra Burundi og DR Kongo, og til sammen har det tatt imot nærmere én million flyktninger.

Likevel fortsetter Uganda å holde dørene åpne, helt i tråd med Flyktningkonvensjonen.

Vi har bedt fem ugandere og fem sørsudanere fortelle om hvordan Uganda ønsker flyktningene velkommen:

Mary Kiden (17) fled from Yei in South Sudan last October, together with her brother and sisters. Now they are living in Bidibidi settlement in Uganda. 

"It is good to be in Uganda. They allocated us a piece of land, we have free access to medical services and we feel safe. People were killed in South Sudan. It made me afraid. Here we no longer need to listen to the sound of the guns," she says. 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Mary Kiden. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Mary Kiden

Mary Kiden (17) flyktet fra Yei i Sør-Sudan i oktober sammen med brødrene og søstrene sine. Nå bor de i Bidibidi-bosetningen i Uganda.

– Det er godt å være i Uganda. De ga oss et stykke land, vi har fri tilgang til helsetjenester og vi føler oss trygge. Folk ble drept i Sør-Sudan. Det gjorde meg redd. Her trenger vi ikke høre lyden av skudd, sier hun.

Florens Ajone is fetching water from a water point installed by NRC in Bidibidi settlement in Uganda. She fled the conflict in South Sudan in 2016. 

Quotes: "We left because of the killing. They slaughtered people. So we left yei out of fear of what could happen to us there. 
The roads were closed and it was a struggle to get here. Now we are okay. We no longer hear any gunshots and we’re safe." 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Florens Ajone. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Florens Ajone

Florens Ajone henter vann fra brønnen som Flyktninghjelpen har bygget i Bidibidi-bosetningen. Hun flyktet fra konflikten i Sør-Sudan i 2016.

– Vi dro på grunn av drapene. De slaktet mennesker ned, og vi forlot Yei i frykt for hva som kunne skje om vi ble værende der, forteller hun.

– Veiene var stengt og det var vanskelig å komme seg hit. Nå har vi det bra. Vi hører ikke skudd og vi er trygge.

Never Rukia (28) from Uganda in front and Mary Kiden (17) and Christin Awate (16) from South Sudan are collecting water from the same water point in Bidibidi. NRC has constructed the water point, which is being used by both refugees and the host community. 

Bidibidi settlement in northern Uganda was established in August 2016 and has quickly become one of the world's largest refugee settlements. By January 2017 it was housing more than 270,000 refugees from South Sudan - and had reached its full capacity. NRC is providing water and sanitation services in the settlement. 

In total, Uganda is currently home to about 600,000 refugees from South Sudan. 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein

Quotes from Mary Kiden: 
"People are being killed in South Sudan. Equatorians and Dinkas are fighting each other. 

I feel free now. Here we no longer need to listen to the sound of the guns. Some times we heard the sound of guns the whole night. People were killed. It made me afraid. 

Because of the conflict, prices also went up at the market. 

It is fine to be in Uganda. We feel very welcome here. They allocated us a piece of land, we have free access to hospitals and we feel safe. 

The Ugandans in the area benefit as well from many of the new services. I think that’s good."

Quotes Never Rukia: 
"Wars are no good for the civilians. I have understood that, when speaking with the refugees coming here. I am glad Uganda can give them land and provide security. 
It feels good to have these people in the neighbourhood. 
It has some benefits for us as well. There are for example more goods being sold at the market now. And there are clean water sources available to us, as well as the refugees. 
I think we should stay together in harmony and share the available resources."
Les billedteksten Never Rukia. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Never Rukia

Never Rukia (28) fra Uganda henter vann sammen med Mary Kiden (17) og Christin Awate (16) fra Sør-Sudan. Både flyktningene og lokalbefolkningen bruker den nye brønnen i Bidibidi.

Never ønsker flyktningene velkommen til nabolaget.

– Vi tjener på det, vi også. Det selges for eksempel flere varer på markedet nå. Og nå har alle tilgang til rent vann, ikke bare flyktningene. Jeg synes vi skal bo sammen i harmoni og dele på ressursene, sier hun.

Apai Regina (25) is washing clothes in Bidibidi settlement. Together with her family she fled Juba this autumn and arrived Uganda 10 October 2016. 

“My husband was killed when we fled towards Uganda. No I am alone here, trying my best to support my three children”, says Apai Regina. 

She wishes her children can grow up in safety.

"I do not need to fear for the safety of my children here. I feel safe. The only problem for me now, is to be able to feed my children. I do not want them to go hungry," she says. 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Apai Regina. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelepen

Apai Regina

Apai Regina (25) vasker klær i Bidibidi. Sammen med familien flyktet hun fra Juba i fjor høst og kom til Uganda i oktober 2016.

– Mannen min ble drept under flukten til Uganda. Nå er jeg her alene, og gjør mitt beste for å ta vare på de tre barna mine, sier hun.

Hun ønsker at barna skal få vokse opp i trygghet.

– Jeg trenger ikke frykte for barna mine her. Jeg føler meg trygg. Det eneste problemet mitt nå, er å skaffe mat. Jeg vil ikke at de skal gå sultne, sier hun.

Angelina (23) had just been sitting for her last exam in South Sudan, when she quickly had to flee the country. Now she is living in Bidibidi in Uganda. 

"It is the first time I have left my own country. But it is okay to be in Uganda. We were welcomed with some basic food and a plot where we could stay," she says. 

Still she hopes to be able to return back home one day.

"Now we need to pray for peace in South Sudan." 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Angelina. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Angelina

Angelina (23) hadde nettopp tatt sin siste eksamen i Sør-Sudan da hun måtte flykte i all hast.

– Det er første gang jeg har forlatt landet mitt. Men det er greit å være i Uganda. Vi ble ønsket velkommen med mat og et stykke land som vi kunne bo på, sier hun.

Hun håper likevel å kunne reise tilbake til hjemlandet en dag.

– Nå må vi be for fred i Sør-Sudan.

Mafoukana Kajoube and his daughter Ajiko Zuhari (8) from Uganda are fetching water form the same borehole as the newly arrived refugees in Bidibidi. 

"It is a very good habit for Uganda to welcome refugees. It is a way to save people's lives," Mafoukana says.

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Mafoukana Kajoube. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Mafoukana Kajoube

Mafoukana Kajoube og datteren Ajiko Zuhari (8) fra Uganda henter vann fra samme brønn som flyktningene fra Sør-Sudan.

– Det er en god tradisjon Uganda har, det at vi tar i mot flyktninger. Det er en måte å redde liv på, sier Mafoukana.

Markom Malima from Uganda is trying to sell some clothes at a market in Bidibidi, where refugees from South Sudan and members of the host community meet to sell and buy food and other goods. 

“I’m happy the refugees have arrived here and welcome them. They have been suffering and we are able to provide them with security. Also, the business at the market is increasing. It is good to get some new costumers and some new vendors,” she explains.  

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Markom Malima. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Markom Malima

Markom Malima i Uganda selger klær på markedet i Bidibidi, hvor flyktninger fra Sør-Sudan og lokale ugandere møtes for å kjøpe og selge mat og andre varer.

– Jeg er glad for at flyktningene har kommet hit, og ønsker dem velkommen. De har hatt det vanskelig og vi må gi dem sikkerhet. Og handelen på markedet øker. Det er bra å få nye kunder og selgere, sier hun.

Ochgoro Somra and her children Farida (4) (in front), Siragi (soon 2 years), Mondoro Farida (4) and Shahid (3) were living in Bidibidi, a small place in the north of Uganda, before the refugees arrived. Now they have 270,000 new "neighbors". 

"The refugees are innocent South Sudanese civilians coming to us for protection from the insecurity in their own country. I am glad Uganda can welcome them here," Ochgoro Somra says.

"Initially we were here more or less alone. Now we have been surrounded by South Sudanese refugees. The children have made new friends. They even start picking up some words in South Sudanese languages," she laughs. 

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Ochgoro Somra. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Ochgoro Somra

Ochgoro Somra og barna hennes Farida (4), Siragi (2), Mondoro Farida (4) og Shahid (3) bodde i Bidibidi før flyktningene kom. Nå har de 270.000 nye naboer.

– Først var vi her mer eller mindre alene. Nå har vi sørsudanske flyktninger overalt rundt oss. Barna har fått nye venner. De har til og med plukket opp noen ord på sørsudanske språk, ler Ochgoro Somra.

Mafero Lilian lost her husband in the war in South Sudan last year. Now she has been able to bring Junia Masad (2) and four other children to safety in Uganda. 

“Staying here is fine. We are safe and the Ugandans are very welcoming,” Mafero says.  

She hopes to be able to set up a small business, so that she can get some necessary household items that she would otherwise not be able to buy.   

“I hope we can get some support to be able to start making an income, so that we can depend on ourselves, and not the humanitarian assistance, in the future. That would be much better,” she explains.  

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Mafero Lilian. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Mafero Lilian

I fjor mistet Mafero Lilian mannen sin i krigen i Sør-Sudan. Nå har hun klart å bringe seg Junia Masad (2) og de fire andre barna sine i sikkerhet i Uganda.

Det er fint å være her. Vi er trygge og uganderne er veldig gjestfrie, sier Mafero.
Hun håper hun får mulighet til å drive en liten butikk, slik at hun kan få råd til å kjøpe det hun trenger av husholdningsartikler.

– Jeg håper at vi kan få litt støtte til å begynne å tjene egne penger, slik at vi i framtiden kan forsørge oss selv, og ikke være avhengige av humanitær hjelp. Det ville vært mye bedre, sier hun.

Patrik (23) from Uganda is hired as a construction worker to help build a new motorized borehole which will provide water to South Sudanese refugees and the host community in Bidibidi. 

“Uganda also benefits from welcoming the refugees. Infrastructure is being developed and schools constructed to the benefit for everyone. The large influx of refugees also creates new employment opportunities, " he says.   
 
He also believes Uganda has a responsibility to support their neighbors.

"We welcome the refugees. They had a hard life in South Sudan and escaped to save their lives, so we need to be there for them. Uganda has a reputation for helping refugees and a long history of doing so, but we also need support from other countries," he adds.  

Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein
Les billedteksten Patrik. Foto: Tiril Skarstein/Flyktninghjelpen

Patrik

Patrik (23) er byggearbeider fra Uganda, og ansatt for å bygge en motorisert brønn som vil gi vann til sørsudanske flyktninger og ugandere i lokalsamfunnet i Bidibidi i Uganda.

– Uganda tjener også på å ta i mot flyktninger. Infrastrukturen utvikles og skoler bygges til fordel for alle. Den store strømmen av flyktninger skaper også nye arbeidsplasser, sier han.