Uganda borders two of the world’s largest humanitarian crises: those in South Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both are consequences of large-scale violence, long-term civil wars, famine and epidemics, and have forced over 1.19 million refugees to leave their homes and seek safety in Uganda. Many settlements in Uganda lack medical staff and the resources required to meet the needs of refugees, but the situation is especially difficult in the Bidi-Bidi settlement. It is one of the largest refugee settlements in the world, hosting more than 200,000 displaced people.
PCPM set out to improve the medical facilities and the services provided in Bidi-Bidi by donating and implementing 100 Better Shelter units in partnership with UNHCR. Some of the units were modified to better suit the context and hot climate of the area. 45 units have been adapted as used as clinic infrastructure, replacing previous temporary health structures made of plastic sheets.
The new clinics were assembled on two 400 m2 concrete slabs, under roofing which provides additional protection against rain and sunlight. The facilities will remain temporary in nature and will not be transferred to the Government once the settlement is closed. The remaining 55 units are mounted on individual concrete slabs and are used as staff accommodation with an aim to improve the living conditions of the medical staff working in the settlement’s clinics.
Thanks to the concrete slabs and additional concrete water barriers used inside the Better Shelter units, they offer better protection from rain and high water during the rainy season. The tents the group used previously suffered from leaking roofs. They also offer better protection from intrusion by scorpions, snakes and rats than the old tents, which were mounted directly on the ground.
PCPM is a Polish NGO established in 2006 providing humanitarian, development and rescue assistance. It has in the last years been the largest recipient of funds from the Polish Government (Polish Aid).