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NAIROBI - 25 Jul 2012

Fourth camp opens for Sudan refugees in Upper Nile

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is opening a fourth camp for Blue Nile refugees in Maban County of Upper Nile in order to reduce the size of Jamam Camp.

The population of refugees in the county is estimated to be over 100,000. Another 37,000 refugees from Blue Nile State are in Ethiopia and an unknown number are in government-held areas of Sudan including Al Mazmum and Damazin.

UNHCR began its operation to relocate refugees by moving 4000 people from Jamam Camp to Yusuf Batil on 12 July. With Yusuf Batil camp also at full capacity, however, a new camp site has been prepared.

“We will now begin movements to a new camp called Jandrassa Camp and there we expect to move some 15,000 refugees,” said a spokesman for the refugee agency speaking to Voice of America from Nairoibi. “And we will be looking at other options in the event that there is continued new arrivals.

Jamam Camp has suffered flooding and shortages of drinking water. The camp’s poor drainage exposed refugees to poor sanitation conditions and higher risk of malaria. Many of the refugees in the camp walked from Blue Nile which shares a border with South Sudan about 70 kilometers from the camp.  

The three largest camps in Maban County are Doro, Jamam and Yusuf Batil. Another large site called ‘Kilo 18’ is not officially a camp. Jandrassa will be the fourth camp. The new site already has two boreholes for drinking water for the incoming refugees and a third borehole is currently being drilled.