Baby girl rescued from pit latrine in refugee camp

Baby girl rescued from pit latrine in refugee camp
Baby who was removed from a pit latrine being carried by an aid worker after being cleaned and treated by medical personnel (photo credit: courtesy)

A baby girl has been rescued from a pit latrine in the Kiryandong Refugee Settlement camp where she was dumped by her mother.

It was last Friday night when a mother delivered the baby and dropped her in a latrine at a home belonging to a man named Garang Guti, near St. John Church, Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.

One of the family members visited the latrine in the morning and surprisingly heard a baby crying inside the pit. The person looked inside and saw a baby laying on top of the faeces.

Speaking to The City Review on Sunday, Riak David, a hygiene promoter working for Water Mission Uganda in the refugee camp, said the baby was dropped into the latrine by an unknown woman.

“The child was dropped in the latrine by an unknown woman, and when one of the family members visited the latrine, he heard the baby crying, he flashed the light, after which he saw the baby,” Riak explained.

“There was no way of entering the latrine because it was cast. So, a hole was dug until people could enter, and this is how they removed her. “

The mother of the baby has not shown up until now. However, he said that the baby was taken to Panyadoli Primary Health Centre III, where she was washed and offered medication.

Riak said the aid agencies provided all the requirements as the child remained under the care of the family who found her in the latrine.

He further said the baby was in good health.

“The community is still searching for the mother, but the search is all in vain. It was a bad experience, ” he added.

The story that repeated itself

It was not the first time such an incident has happened in the settlement. In March 2020, Uganda Police Superintendent Tumukunde Emmanuel in Bweyale rescued a baby that was thrown into a 7-foot pit latrine by the mother.

“This child was thrown in a latrine about 7 metres deep, full of faeces, stones and bricks by its mother, but the child landed on the soft part. Before police were called, the locals tried to rescue him, but they gave up, ” Emmanuel said.

 “Only one concerned person decided to bring the report to the police, but later the elder joined after the child had spent about two hours. The head was halfway covered in faeces and facing down. “

The baby was rushed to Kiryandongo Hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. However, the mother has not shown up until now.

Challenges faced

Refugees living in Kiryandongo have always reported challenges of delayed and insufficient food distribution, which causes many to fear taking responsibility. There are many other cases of rape and assault against girls and women, especially when fetching firewood.

Other challenges encountered by refugees include poor health facilities due to a lack of health centres with transport challenges such as ambulances.

Also, there are reports of poor water quality due to the use of rusty water pipes, as well as congestion caused by inadequate water sources. This has reportedly resulted in poor hygiene among refugee communities.

Settlement                                                           

Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement is home to close to 60, 000 refugees from different countries, including Kenya, South Sudan, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Sudan.

The camp was primarily established in 1990 but reopened in 2014 when the majority of South Sudanese sought emergency services following the December 2013 crisis that broke out in Juba.

MORE FROM NATIONAL