LAMWO– Refugees settled in the three settlement centres in Lamwo district want to benefit from government programmes such as; Uganda Women Entrepreneurship program, (UWEP) and Youth Livelihood Fund, which are geared toward improving household incomes.
They argue that they are also needy just like the host communities.
Chairperson of refugees in Lamwo settlement, John Pasquale asked the government to include them in the programmes aimed at improving the lives of the natives, saying most donor funds received were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many of the funds from the donors were affected due to the prolonged Covid 19 pandemic and many benefits have been cut off, something that is impacting on us negatively,’’ he said
There are several government programmes running in various districts where we took refuge, if such categories like us are taken on board, we shall all improve on household income at the same pace, Pasquale said.
However, the deputy Resident Commissioner Oswin Oguti when contacted to comment on the matter said refugees should not compete with the natives, what is allocated to them by the development partners is enough to kick-start their lives.
“Most development partners allocate 70 percent of the aid to refugees and 30, percent goes to the host communities,’’ he advised, adding that the aid received by refugees can help them sustain their lives.
A total of 70,000 refugees are settled in the three settlement centres of Palabek- Kal, Palabek- Gem and Palabek- Ogiri all in Lamwo district.
In 2016, the government launched the UWEP programme at a tune of Shs 53 billion, to support women through the provision of interest-free credit and technical advice.
Government earmarked Shs265b to empower poor and unemployed youth countrywide in 2013. The Livelihood Programme targets unemployed youth.
Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our countrywide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news