About Nakivale

Nakivale Secondary School

Nakivale Refugee Settlement is situated in south-west Uganda, near the borders of Tanzania and Rwanda, and currently shelters over 60,000 refugees. The remote site on the shores of Lake Nakivale has been hosting refugees for more than 40 years.

Covering an area of 84km², Nakivale is made up of 48 “villages” connected by rough roads and walking tracks. The layout ensures the refugees plenty of land for cultivation but presents a challenge for those delivering vital services like water, schools and health care.

Today, Nakivale is very multicultural, hosting refugees from Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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The students in Nakivale are keen to learn – they know that education is the key to a better future for themselves and their families. But they don’t have the same opportunities as students in Australia. For many, this will be the first time they have used the internet, or had contact with anyone outside of Africa. It’s a chance for you, and for them, to connect and learn from one another.


Overview of Nakivale

  • Number of refugees in Nakivale: 60,000
  • Children and young people in Nakivale: 28,000
  • Year the settlement was established: 1960
  • Key areas of need: education, water and sanitation, healthcare
  • Primary refugee countries of origin: DRC, Rwanda, Somalia, Burundi


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Latest Statistics

  • Number of doctors in the settlement: 1
  • Patients treated per day by each medical officer: 150
  • Distance children travel to collect water: up to 5km
  • Children treated for malaria each month: 4,000
  • Average number of children in a classroom: 100+
  • Pregnant mothers with access to antenatal care: 14%


You can learn more about Nakivale on the Australia for UNHCR website.