Uganda: Healthcare Implementing Partner for UNHCR at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project

UNHCR Kiryandongo Site Assessment

July 23, 2016

UNHCR Kiryandongo Site Assessment Ranch 18

# of Refugees

150,000 South Sudan refugees (overall 2016 contingency worst case scenario, over several sites)

Site Profile

The site forms part of Kiryandongo refugee settlement, which already hosts of 50,000 refugees from South Sudan. This Government gazetted land recently added to the refugee settlement has two main areas: One area which is already occupied by former Ugandan IDPs, and another area which is foreseen for refugee settlement. The latter area, located some 12.2 km from Kiryandongo reception centre, is currently extensively used by Ugandan nationals for agriculture (maize, beans etc.) and cattle grazing. Several dwellings of Ugandan nationals are visible on the land, as well as a fence demarcating cattle grazing land. The land also includes a trading centre, a former agricultural training centre, and a church.

Is there any information about potential existence of land mines and UXOs within and/or near this site?


Is this site vulnerable to significant security risks? 


What is the travel distance between the site and the refugees’ country of origin?

Less than 50km

What protection considerations should be made?

To use the land for refugee settlement, it would first have to be vacated by Ugandan communities currently using the land. This would have to be carefully negotiated and managed with neighbouring host communities, as to preserve social cohesion between refugees and host communities. This process will take time.


  Technically, the site is well suited as a refugee settlement. However, the assessment team found extensive land use by Ugandan nationals, and the release of the land first has to be negotiated in a way which will promote peaceful coexistence between Ugandan host communities and refugees. This negotiation process will take time, possibly months.
At the time of this site assessment, it is estimated that Kiryandongo settlement areas Ranches 1 and 37 can receive another 5,000 individuals. At the current arrival rate, this could fill up as fast as within two weeks. With Ranch 18 likely not available within this short timeframe, alternative settlement options for refugees arriving in Kiryandongo need to be developed (possibly Kyangwali settlement).
In terms of response providers in Kiryandongo settlement, it was recommended to strengthen existing services. Additional agencies should only come in if and when Ranch 18 will be opened. Ranch 18 has a potentially well suited site for a reception centre.


  • Hydrological survey required;
  • 3 – 5 additional boreholes;



  • Police posts to be deployed
  • Since schools are all in longer distance, it will be important to establish feeder schools in the settlement area as to prevent incidents
  • 1 child friendly space is located in 7 km distance – new CFSs to be established on site
  • Good presence of GBV actors in Kiryandongo settlement
  • Info desk for refugees to be established



  • Closest HC II is affected by limited supplies
  • The district hospital is located in 17 km distance
  • HIV sensitisation in Kiryandongo settlement is a gap


Food security

  • Need to improve primary road network as to allow food distribution trucks to reach all settlement areas throughout the year;
  • 1,050 metric tons storage available in Kiryandongo settlement (sufficient)
  • The settlement already has market activity and displays a good potential for agriculture, as visible with the existing crops. The land is therefore well suited for the Uganda non-camp settlement approach, and to supplement food security.
  •  A small storage and kitchen area for hot meals will be required in the proposed reception centre area. 



  • 1 primary, 1 secondary school in some distance, as well as a nursery and a vocational training centre
  • Feeder schools to be established on site


The project has been implemented in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement as part of the emergency response to the South Sudanese refugee influx. Health services are provided through the established health centers: Panyadoli Hills Health Centre II, Panyadoli Health Centre III, Nyakadot Health Centre II, and the Reception Centre Clinic with community-based care supporting both the refugee and host community.
Funding is provided by UNHCR to aid the influx of refugees and asylum seekers into Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. The number of refugees is projected to increase. This is due to the political instability in South Sudan, as the cease-fire agreement signed in Ethiopia has not yielded peace as anticipated.
Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) has hired a manager who is responsible for the overall implementation and coordination of planned interventions, whereas OPM and UNHCR do oversight functions. Activities are planned, coordinated, and reviewed on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis through coordination meetings chaired by OPM at the settlement level.


  • Emergency operations
  • Care and maintenance of refugees and asylum seekers in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement through the delivery of quality health care services
  • Ensure optimal access to reproductive health and HIV/AIDS services