Rwandan Immigrants Dying as Rakai Refuses to Deliver Medical Supplies

2174 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
Recently, David Kaboyo, the Rakai RDC proposed that the district sends some medical supplies from Rakai Hospital and Kakuuto Health Centre IV to Sango Bay camp to save the lives of the immigrants.

At least 15 children of Rwandan immigrants at Sango bay camp in Rakai district have succumbed to malaria and typhoid since September this year due to lack of medicine. There are 4265 immigrants with over 500 children at Sango bay camp who were resettled there by government in August this year following their expulsion from Tanzania. 

Francis Gakumba, one of the leaders in the camp says many children are succumbing to various illnesses area result of consuming contaminated water from Lukoma valley dam because they have no better option. He says they have not received any medical and food supplies from the Office of the Prime Minister since September. He says the only maize floor and beans they received from the Prime Minister’s Office got finished leaving many of the immigrants to starve.

Gakumba says most of the immigrants left their belonging in Tanzania since they were expelled unexpectedly. Molly Katete, a mother of five is worried about the safety of her children because of lack of food and medication. Recently, David Kaboyo, the Rakai RDC proposed that the district sends some medical supplies from Rakai Hospital and Kakuuto Health Centre IV to Sango Bay camp to save the lives of the immigrants. However, Rakai district rejected the proposal.

Benon Mugabi, the Rakai District LC5 Chairperson says the district executive rejected the proposal because there was no budget for the medicine. Additionally he says hospitals and health centers in the district don’t get sufficient funds to buy drugs to cater for residents. Mugabi says the district cannot allow to send medicine to camp cater for immigrants at the expense of residents. He argues that since the Prime Minister’s office is charged with such eventualities it should cater for Sango Bay camp.
He also says Red Cross and United Nations High Commission for Refugees –UNHCR should cater for them since they have specific budgets for such activities.  Steven Ssebunya, the Kakuuto Sub County LC3 Chairperson says Kakuuto Health Centre IV has also suffered a severe drug stock out because of the increased number of children admitted there.
He claims many patients are now stranded without drugs after it was given out to the immigrants. According to Ssebunya, the immigrants are falling sick because of the deplorable conditions at camp. He says they lack clean water, food and mosquito nets. Ssebunya is worried about a looming cholera outbreak because of poor human waste disposal.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.