Refugee camp at Bidi Bidi, Uganda
A more humane approach to the world's largest refugee camp.
Camps like this used to be temporary. Back when wars or conflicts lasted only a year or three. Now people need the protection and security provided by camps like this for 15 or 20 years. So when our partners at the American Refugee Committee asked for our help to master plan Zone 5 of the Bidi Bidi settlement, our team considered ways to create neighborhoods, areas for commerce, and soccer fields.
Not long ago, this site was empty. An arid patch of land. Today, Bidi Bidi is home to some 270,000 people, most of whom have fled conflict in South Sudan. Knowing the camp had to be up and running within 30 days, our team wasted no time. Collaborative brainstorm sessions addressed challenging situations regarding the distribution of basic services. Latrines. Food. Water. Our plan considered connections, circulation patterns, areas for future growth and child friendly spaces. Quadrants were designed for up to 1500 people with adjacencies to schools and playing fields. Each 5×6 meter shelter sits on a parcel 13×15 meters to provide a sense of place and security for the families living there.