The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Battle Group XXXV serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) at the close of last week supplied free safe water to residents of Carshanley Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Barawe lower Shabelle region.
This comes as a relief to residents who were evicted from Deruwun by Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.
Carshanley is an informal IDP camp with about 1000 people on the outskirts of Barawe town.
The nearest safe water point to this camp is almost 8 km away with a very insecure road.
Residents from the IDP camp appreciated the water, saying this will save them from contracting water-borne – related diseases and other associated risks that arise from trekking long distances in search of water.
“The water supply is a gesture that UPDF is a true People’s Army, you have saved us from contracting diseases like Cholera, typhoid, dysentery and others that have been a problem here due to contaminated water. We appreciate your good heart and support to us and we pledge our support to your fight against Al-Shabaab who evicted us from our homes,” remarked an elder from the IDP camp.
The UPDF BG XXXV Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) officer in Barawe, Maj Majid Anguyo, said UPDF troops will continue distributing water every week until a permanent solution is reached.
He advised them to report any Al-Shabaab activity to the security forces. “Al-Shabaab militants have evicted you from your homes, you are now homeless with no safe water and food. Therefore report any of their activities so that we can fight them to enable the return to your homes,” Maj Anguyo noted.
Carshanley IDP camp also faces problems like poor health care, poor accommodation and lack of food, among other challenges.