“It is our desire as government, to ensure that hosting of refugees becomes a blessing not a burden to the country generally and the host communities in particular," Gen Ali said. "Uganda currently hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world. In Adjumani and Obongi districts the refugee population is bigger than the population of the host communities.
leaders in refugee hosting districts have lauded the government on effective implementation
of Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) in their districts.
DRDIP is a project
focusing on addressing the impacts of the protracted presence of refugees on
the hosting communities witch aims at improving access to basic social services in
the area of health, education, water and sanitation as well as to expand
economic opportunities and enhance environmental management for refugee host
district communities and settlements.
currently being implemented in 15 Refugee hosting districts of Arua, Koboko,
Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, Obongi, Madi-Okollo, Terego, Lamwo, Hoima Kikuube,
Kiryandongo, Isingiro, Kyegegwa and Kamwenge.
The Vice Chairperson
Lamwo District Ms Dooren Lakomekec said the project has helped improved service
delivery in the district saying their district had failed to meet the demand of
services by both the locals and refugees.
“There was a
time when our schools couldn’t accommodate both the nationals and refugees
seeking to study in the school and so the construction of more classroom boards
came timely,” Ms Lakomekec said
that to date they still experience a number of challenges especially in gaps of
teachers in schools, health centers yet they serve both the refugees and nationals.
First Deputy Prime Minister Gen Moses Ali, the presence of refugees in Uganda
has increased pressure on services something that DRDIP project has mitigated with
“It is our
desire as government, to ensure that hosting of refugees becomes a blessing not
a burden to the country generally and the host communities in particular," Gen Ali said. "In that
way, we shall assure asylum space for refugees in Uganda while at the same time
we are protecting nationals and community interests.”
Gen Ali added
that Uganda currently hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa and the
third largest in the world. In Adjumani and Obongi districts the refugee population
is bigger than the population of the host communities.
of the staff houses constructed in Palabek Health Center IV, Palabek Secondary
School, Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Engineer Hilary
Obaloker Onek said the country has continued to receive since the opening of its
“Since we opened borders previously closed due to Covid 19, there has been influx of refugees from
South Sudan and DRC Congo into Uganda and this is presenting new challenges
onto what we already have,” Eng Onek said.
He adds that the refugee influx has inevitably stretched the
capacity of local governments in delivering services something that has increasing
pressure on government to borrow money from developed countries.
“This hospitality in hosting refugees has come
with big costs to our communities. the only health center III in Palabek is serving
over 150,000 population due to the present of refugees in the district and this
overwhelming for a health center," Eng Onek said. "We believe DRDIP will help to bridge the gap
and empower the health centers to be in position of handle the population
Nyeko LC3 Chairperson Palabek Kal Sub County said the presence of refugees has
inserted pressure on other infrastructure like roads including on other
government service delivery mechanism generally.
connection between all these service points like schools, health centers among others
should also be improved because most of our roads are in a sorry state because
of influx of NGOs supporting refugees,” Mr Nyeko said.
DRDIP Mr Alfred Odera said the government has received additional USD 150 Million
grant from World Bank to further fund DRDIP project, something that will be
channeled to improve housing facilities in schools and health centers in refugees
acquired additional grants worth USD 150 Million on top of the credit worth USD
50 million which we have exhausted in all the districts hosting refugees," Mr Odera. "We
shall share these funds in a ratio of 70 percent for host communities and 30
percent for the refugees respectively, thus we expect services to greatly improve
in the areas the project has supported.”
Mr Odera added: “We have been able to construct houses in Etia Primary School, Palabek Health
Center III, Mungula Health Center, Palabek Ogili Secondary school and have commenced
the construction of classrooms and teachers’ quarter in Palabek Secondary
He however urged
the district to make deliberate efforts to maintain the facilities besides
keeping them operational with full functionality.