John Komakech Ogwok, the district LC 5 Chairperson reveals that there are several humanitarian agencies who have decided to conceal their budgets, activity plans and are not open to have their operations monitored.
RDC James Nabinson Kidega addressing representatives of humanitarian agencies during coordination meeting at Lamwo district council hall. In White shirt is District LC 5 Chairperson John Komakech Ogwok
Lamwo district authorities have threatened to expel Non-Governmental Organizations-NGOs dealing in humanitarian work for flouting compliance and operating procedures in the district.
Since 2017, Lamwo has been home to over 40 humanitarian agencies
administering relief services to displaced South Sudan refugees who fled armed
violence and hunger back home.
John Komakech Ogwok, the LC 5 Chairperson notes that there are several
humanitarian agencies which intentionally conceal their budgets, activity plans
and are not open to have their operations monitored.
Ogwok explained that it’s mandatory for every partner to sign a memorandum
of understanding - MoU with the district before being allowed to carry out
humanitarian interventions. He added that those that can’t comply will be
expelled from the district.
According to Ogwok, some development partners are setting their
own rules of operation without involving and seeking the guidance of the district.
He further argued that he has been barred access to areas of operation of some
Julius Kamuza, the Palabek Refugee Settlement Camp Commandant
under OPM the oversees all agencies operating in Lamwo could not deny nor admit
the anomalies. Kamuza however, apologized to the Chairman for the mishap.
A joint coordination meeting between the district leaders, Office
of the Prime Minister – OPM and representatives of the humanitarian agencies
held at Lamwo district headquarters last week discovered that only 11 partners
had been certified to operate.
Some of the NGOs that have signed MoU with the district include;
Caritas, Oxfam, African Women and Youth Action for Development (AWYAD), IRC,
Food for the Hungry, LWF, AVSI, CESVI and Lutheran World Relief.
The Lamwo Resident District Commissioner – RDC James Nabinson
Kidega says that in line with Uganda’s policy framework on refugee assistance,
at least 70% beneficiaries of humanitarian response are refugees while 30% are
from the refugee-hosting communities.
Kidega notes that when the development partners do not make known
to the district their areas of intervention, it becomes difficult to monitor
their contributions to the community where they operate.
OPM with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR in
partnership with other humanitarian agencies are operating new refugee
reception centres at refugees fleeing civil strife in South Sudan. The centres
include Ngomomoro and Apiritii in Lokung and Madi-Opei sub-counties.