Kampala, 16 June, 2020 / 9:33 pm (ACI Africa).
Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) serving in Uganda’s Palabek refugee camp have highlighted some of the challenges they are experiencing as they strive to keep the refugees safe, reporting failure to adhere to COVID-19 precautionary measure on the part of the refugees.
“Our Refugees in Palabek Settlement Camp are not following rules and regulations that could control the spread of COVID 19," Fr. Jeffrey Albert, one of the members of SDB serving in Palabek, a camp in Uganda’s Gulu Archdiocese has been quoted as saying.
According to the Salesians, the three-year-old camp located in the Archdiocese of Gulu, northern Uganda, is “obviously a place of great risk” due to its large population of an estimated 56,000 refugees, majority of them from Malakal and Torit dioceses in neighboring South Sudan.
In a report published Monday, June 15 by Agenzia iNfo Salesiana, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation, with no reported COVID-19 death in Uganda, “It's difficult to raise awareness among a population (refugees) that has not yet personally witnessed the impact of a pandemic of this type.”
Apart from COVID-19 measures, the Salesians are also grappling with the challenge of food shortage and that of poor health services at the camp.