IOM Relocates Refugees, Fights Disease at South Sudan's Flood-Affected Doro Camp
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM is helping to relocate refugees from Doro Camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile Sate, following floods which hit the area early this week causing a temporary suspension of aid deliveries.
The Organization is also intensifying hygiene promotion and the construction of emergency latrines following an outbreak of Hepatitis E in several refugee camps in Upper Nile State, South Sudan.
At the request of UNHCR, IOM is providing water and sanitation services for over 42,000 refugees at Doro, one of five refugee camps established in Maban County for 106,000 refugees from Sudan's Blue Nile State.
Heavy rains have led to widespread flooding in Doro Camp and the neighboring town of Bunj. The main access road to the camp is flooded and aid deliveries are on hold until road access is restored. Earlier this month, entire sections of the road were washed away by flooding northeast of the camp and aid agencies were forced to bring in equipment and trucks to repair the road. IOM operates a fleet of trucks to transport emergency relief for humanitarian partners providing assistance in Maban.
This week flooding displaced refugees living in five villages across Doro Camp. IOM and partner agencies are now helping to relocate affected communities to temporary communal areas until new locations can be identified.
Twenty-six latrines have overflowed due to the floods and IOM is intensifying efforts to prevent the contamination of surrounding water sources. IOM and partners have also conducted an inter-agency assessment and are monitoring the situation to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.
South Sudan's Ministry of Health announced the outbreak of Hepatitis E on 13 September 2012 in three refugee camps - Jamam, Gendrassa and Yusif Batil. A total of 407 suspected and confirmed cases of Hepatitis E have been recorded and 16 deaths have been reported. In the past week, one case of Hepatitis E has been reported in Doro.
Hepatitis E is a virus that causes infection of the liver and can be transmitted by consuming water and food contaminated with faeces. The infection is most common in young adults, but poses the greatest risk to pregnant women.
IOM is working with partners to reduce the risk of transmission through chlorinating drinking water, increasing the number of hand washing points, distributing soap, constructing emergency latrines, and intensifying hygiene promotion.
IOM has been operating in Maban since December 2011. It has appealed for USD 10 million to respond to emerging needs in South Sudan and has received contributions from the USA, Italy, Canada and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF.) But the number of refugees and internally displaced people in the country is growing and more funds are needed.