Bundibugyo Schools Yet To Open

2235 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
Five schools in Bundibugyo district which were closed to accommodate refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are yet to open.

Five schools in Bundibugyo district which were closed to accommodate refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are yet to open.

The primary schools, Kalera, Busulu, Butoogo, Busunga and Bubandi, were closed two weeks ago after thousands of refugees entered the district after they fled fighting in Kamango town, 15 kilometers from the Uganda –DRC border post at Busunga.  

The schools were supposed to reopen today, but it has been pushed to next week. 

Richard Kibulya, the Bundibugyo deputy district education officer, says that the pit latrines used by the refugees in some of the schools haven’t yet been emptied. He also says there is no adequate furniture in some of the schools, since it was destroyed by the refugees who used it as firewood.
Kibulya says that the lives of the pupils will be put at risk if the schools are allowed to reopen, since the sanitation is still appalling. He says there is need to first spray the area with liquid detergent and clean the latrines, but the resources are not available.

He says he isn’t certain when the schools will reopen since renovation is being done at a slow pace.

Richard Nsubuga, the Uganda Red Cross Society Western region manager, says that some of the schools like Butoogo Primary School can’t reopen. He notes that here are some refugees who are still camped at the school and have refused to be relocated to the Bubukwanga transit camp or return home. He says they would provide support to enable the school empty the overflowing latrines.

Geoffrey Musiime, the head teacher Busulu Primary School, says the closure of the school has affected the preparation for the mock examinations for Primary Seven candidates which are supposed to start in two weeks time.  He says the teachers had planned to finish part of the syllabus before the examinations.

He says some of the pupils and teachers had reported to the school on Monday morning, but they were turned away by staff of the Uganda Red Cross Society.  

Kibulya, however, says that in case the schools don’t open next week, parents will be forced to temporarily enroll their children in other schools in the district.  

While in Bundibugyo on Friday, Musa Ecweru, the state Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, said the ministry had requested the humanitarian agencies like the World Vision, Save the Children and UNICEF to renovate the affected schools, since the government lacks the funds. 
Bubukwanga Transit Centre in Bundibugyo is now home to 15,447 refugees according to a statement by Catherine Ntabadde, the Communications Officer for Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS).


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.