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All new arrivals undergo security and health screening at the border. Vulnerable individuals like Emmanuelle are fast-tracked for assistance. Most asylum-seekers who arrived on the first day of border opening were women, children and older people. They were hungry and tired. Many also arrived in a frail state having been in a precarious situation, hiding in the bush for the past several weeks without sufficient access to food, clean drinking water and shelter.
The group will initially be quarantined at Zewdu Farm Institute, 13 kilometres from the border crossing, which can accommodate some 6,000 people. UNHCR and partners have installed tents, health screening areas, toilets, handwashing facilities and water tanks.
Following the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days, in line with national guidelines and protocols, asylum-seekers will be transported to existing refugee settlements. Emmanuelle does not know what the future holds for her in Uganda, but she hopes she will get medical care and enough food to eat. Not so long ago, she was with her extended family of eight children and 26 grandchildren. All of them were working their land and growing their own food.