Lamwo District Offers Land for Refugee Reception Centre

3779 Views Lamwo, Uganda

In short
Lamwo district has offered two separate pieces of land for the establishment a reception centre for refugees flocking in from South Sudan.

Lamwo district has offered two separate pieces of land for the establishment a reception centre for refugees flocking in from South Sudan.

The district announced the offer of the 500 square meters of land -- one in Palabek-kal and another in Padibe -- during a meeting with heads of various non governmental organisations and humanitarian agencies on Friday. The district is now looking for funds for the construction of various infrastructure including water sources, health centres, security posts and schools among others.  

The land in Padibe is the former district headquarters with a few structures like buildings and boreholes on sight and only requires renovation whereas the one in Palabek-kal was offered by the community. 

Jakeo Ocan, the Lamwo district Community Development Officer Lamwo, says the influx of the refugees is exacerbating the existing crisis of food shortage. Ocan, who also doubles as the chairperson of the steering  committee for the establishment of the reception centre, says up to 60% of the households in the district are facing acute food shortage, thus the need to speed up the process.

He notes that United  Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR is not consistent in collecting and transferring the refugees to the settlement camp in Adjumani, thus exerting a lot of pressure on the meagre resources the hosting community has. 

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Since the outbreak of fighting in the South Sudan capital Juba in July this year,  it is estimated that over 2000 refugees who crossed into Uganda through unofficial routes in Lamwo have settled and integrated in the community due to lack of a reception centre. 

Jonathan Rutabingwa, the Resident District Commissioner, is worried that if a reception centre is not put in place soon, the health systems and peace in place will be disrupted.

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Richard Oyat Oloya, the district vice Chairperson says some of the refugees coming in through Lamwo are hesitant to move to Adjumani refugee settlement and prefer to remain in Lamwo for easy return to their country once the fighting is over. 

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UNHCR estimates the influx of refugees into Uganda from all the border entry points to be 17,968  of which 3993 came through Lamwo as of the 8th of August 2016. 

In Lamwo they come through Madi-Opei, Ngom-Oromo, Aweno-Oli and Waligo border points. 


About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.