Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Access to land and resources» in Uganda

There are currently some 1.3 million refugees in Uganda, most of whom have fled from neighbouring South Sudan. This latter country’s unrelenting civil war has already produced more than 4.5 million refugees. Some 230’000 refugees from South Sudan have found shelter at Uganda's Bidibidi refugee camp, one of the largest in the world. The conditions there are cramped and hygiene is extremely precarious. Besides, thousands more are crossing the border every month, for the most part women and children. They have very limited access to food and drinking water.

Since May 2017 HEKS/EPER and its partner organisation «ACORD» have been providing emergency aid for the people in the Bidibidi refugee camp and for locals in the environs of the camp. The priorities are to secure supplies of clean drinking water, build latrines as well as provide training in hygiene measures. Besides, HEKS/EPER also collaborates with the partner organisation «CEFORD», whose projects are designed to promote peaceful coexistence of refugees and locals and to boost their household incomes.

HEKS/EPER in Uganda

Facts

The Bidibidi camp is home to some 230’000 refugees fleeing South Sudan's civil strife. In 2019 HEKS/EPER assisted 65’300 people by providing drinking water, latrines as well as training in water quality control and hygiene. In December 2019 HEKS/EPER launched a project in western Uganda to enhance food security. It was designed to bring refugees from the Congo and local people together in peace.

Rural communities need unimpeded access to natural resources such as land, water, pastures, savannahs or forests if they are to develop. The possibility to use these resources is critical to fighting hunger and poverty. Agriculture is, after all, the most important source of income for many rural communities. With crop farming, small plantations, livestock rearing, fishing or gathering they can secure their food supply and generate income by selling their produce. Land also serves communities as living space and reinforces cultural and spiritual identity. Many rural communities still lack access to land or risk losing it despite existing or traditional law. HEKS/EPER therefore helps them, through numerous projects, to secure long-term access to land and resources, both practically and legally.