IOM, Partners Complete Relocation of Refugees from South Sudan's Jamam Camp
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 18, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM and humanitarian partners have successfully completed the relocation of over 16,000 refugees from Jamam camp to Kaya camp in South Sudan. IOM used nine trucks to move the people and their luggage during the six-week operation.
Jamam, one of five refugee camps in South Sudan's Maban County, hosted refugees fleeing conflict in Sudan's Blue Nile State. Residents voluntarily moved to the new camp, Kaya, which offers better access to basic services and is less susceptible to flooding during the upcoming wet season.
Kaya has a capacity to host 35,000 people and is in a wooded area that provides shade, as well as easier access to construction materials. IOM has also provided 2,000 tents and plastic sheeting for the refugees.
“I arrived in Kaya ten days ago, after living for over a year in Jamam,” said Ali, a refugee from Blue Nile State. “In Jamam, every time it rained we had big problems. Water would be everywhere. Here in Kaya things are better – you can see, the soil won't flood. I'm thankful that my family and I were able to move here.”
Flooding in Jamam in previous years led to poor hygiene and sanitation conditions, creating the potential for the spread of water borne diseases.
Jamam was the first refugee camp impacted by a major Hepatitis E outbreak last year that later spread to other refugee locations. Washed out roads also limited humanitarian access to affected populations.
“The improved conditions in Kaya camp will benefit thousands of refugee families,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission Vincent Houver. “The efficiency and speed demonstrated by our humanitarian partners working jointly on this operation highlights the value of inter-agency cooperation,” he added.
IOM has been assisting refugees in Maban since 2011, and is the lead provider of water, hygiene and sanitation assistance in the county's largest camp, Doro.