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Bundibugyo Traders Reap Big From Refugee Crisis

Business owners in Bundibugyo town are reaping big following the influx of Congolese refugees in the district. Hotels such as Vanilla, Blue Sky, Kwata Mpola and others have all been booked for a month. The hotels have also increased the rates for accommodation. At Vanilla Hotel, a room goes for 55,000 shillings per night, up from 45,000 shillings.

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Business owners in Bundibugyo town are reaping big following the influx of Congolese refugees in the district.

With workers from several national and international agencies camped in the town an engaged in humanitarian work at the Bubukwanga refugee transit centre, hotel and restaurant owners are making brisk business.   

Bubukwanga is located just two kilometres from Bundibugyo town.

A Uganda Radio Network reporter in Bundibugyo says most hotels and lodges have been booked.  

Hotels such as Vanilla, Blue Sky, Kwata Mpola and others have all been booked for a month. The hotels have also increased the rates for accommodation. At Vanilla, the rates have increased from 45,000 shillings to 55,000 shillings per room per night.

Harriet Kaliisa, a receptionist at Vanilla Hotel, describes it as a special business phase because all the rooms have been fully booked for a month.  Kaliisa says that she is excited because she hopes to get a salary increment from the proprietor.

Benjamin Kamya, the manager at Blue Sky says this is the only opportunity that he has to reap big from the refugee crisis because he rarely receives many clients. Kamya, whose hotel has also been fully booked for a month, says he has been forced to hire more staff.

Kamya says the refugee crisis has enabled him reap more money than he has done in the past, since there are many people flocking his restaurant for food and accommodation.

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Small lodges in the town have also increased the costs of accommodation from 15,000 to 20,000 shillings a night and are also fully booked.

Restaurants in the town have also seen an increase in clients and the prices of food have shot up.  Restaurants that were previously selling a plate of food at 3,000 shillings have increased by 2,000 shillings.

Bars and other hangouts in the town have also made brisk business as several foreigners flock the areas to have a drink.

With the presence of foreign humanitarian workers in the town, the police have also beefed up security in the town. Several officers can often be seen patrolling the streets at night.

Dennis Namuhoza, the Bundibugyo District Police Commander, says that police officers have also been deployed at the hotels where some humanitarian workers are staying to avoid theft of their properties like laptops and mobile phones.

 

Up to 60, 000 refugees are in Bundibugyo after being displaced by fighting in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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