Alere settlement, which has a population of 20,000 refugees, is one of the 18 refugee settlement camps in Adjumani district with the least latrine coverage of 32.6 percent.

Reports indicate that majority of the refugees in the camp have resorted to open defecation, an act that has exposed many to the risk of contracting diseases.

Mr Peter Mamir, a refugee at the settlement camp said they now fear for their lives in case of cholera outbreak.

He said the nature of the soil at the camp coupled with the rocky ground do not support construction of latrines in the area.

“As I speak now, many of the refugees here have nowhere to go for nature’s call. We are left with no option other than helping ourselves in the open and this has exposed us to the risk of cholera outbreak,” Mamir said.

He appealed to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other implementing partners to come to their rescue by constructing drainable toilets since open defecation is on the increase in the camp.

attempted latrinesAdjumani district leaders view some of the rocky soils where refugees have attempted to sink latrines.

Similarly, Mr Christopher Bashir, also a refugee at Alere settlement camp said their effort to have latrines have not yielded tangible results due to the rocky surface, forcing the refugees to ease themselves in the near bush as a last option.

Bashir noted that their settlement is full of rocks which have become an obstacle to their effort to sink latrines for their families.

Mr Godfrey Manga, the assistant Adjumani district health officer in charge of environmental health equally blamed the problem on the poor soil texture of the area, the rocky surface and the water logged nature of the settlement.

He, however, promised that the district is already in agreement with UNHCR through Danish refugee council to construct public toilets to solve the challenge of lack of latrines in the settlement; an effort he said is beyond that of the refugees.

Recently, due to the heavy rains, a total of 29 latrines collapsed in the camp contributing to the reduction in latrine coverage from 48% last year to 32.6% this year.

The secretary for finance planning and administration for Adjumani district local government Ms Josephine Atto urged all stakeholders to join hands in addressing the latrine challenge facing the refugees in Alere settlement camp.

But despite the ongoing effort to have sustainable latrines in place, Mr Moses Dalili, the Adjumani deputy chief administrative officer has issued a two weeks ultimatum for all refugees without latrines in Alere settlement camp to make temporary toilets as they wait for the interventions of UNHCR through DRC.