ENDNOTE: Innovation in addressing at refugee settlements in Uganda



How what3words is being used to address refugee settlements in Uganda

  • The Rhino Refugee Camp in Arua, Uganda is embracing new technology to make life easier for the people who live there. 3 word addresses provide every home, church, medical centre and mosque with a simple and accurate way for people to describe its location and find it easily.


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The concept of using tech advances and innovation to give people fast access to reliable modern systems is known as technology leapfrogging. It is increasingly seen as one of the most effective ways of driving positive progress in developing countries.

Sebit Martin, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the CDC commented, ‘In the most remote refugee camps, a person has little to say about a location, which at the same time is often confusing and changeable. Not to mention how frustrating it is for ambulance drivers to try and locate emergency cases in a fragile situation of health and often situations where the very lives of persons of concern are at stake. So we are delighted to partner with what3words to solve these and many other problems concerning addressing in the refugee camps in Arua District.’

‘Finally, we also desire to give refugees the dignity they deserve by improving their living conditions and make 3 word addresses not only an easy way of talking about locations but a better language of hope in the refugee camp.’

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I had heard that Ford Motor Company was including it in their new vehicles in 2019.

It would seem that this could be useful for everyone when the technology supporting it is deployed. Street addresses are not always “good enough”.  Try being a first aid squad looking to help someone off the beaten track or even on some streets and roads where addresses are not obvious.  When I was living in Virginia, New Hampshire, and even the Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee “addresses” were not obvious because folks don’t display them.  

From “launch, imposed, rabble”.



Try it and then have it in your “toolkit” should you need it.

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