The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Winnie Kiiza has called upon government, the international community and other stakeholders to come to make interventions to improve the plight of the people living in the Pagirinya Refugee Camp in Adjumani District.
Hon Kiiza last week led a delegation of 15 Members of Parliament to northern Uganda to assess government programmes and establish how they are performing and are being handled.
“We call upon the government agencies and well-wishers to address the poor plight of the people living in Pagirinya Camp,” she said.
Kiiza added that government through the Office of the Prime Minister’s should increase the amount of funds injected into the refugee programme, so as to improve the lives of the people living in the camps.
She explained that the people who have been sent away from their homes due to instabilities should live in better conditions than those which forced them out of their homes. She said that among the challenges that the people of Pagirinya Camp were facing was insufficient food supplies, which greatly affected the livelihood.
“Government should provide for the needs of these people so that they could settle in these places well without conflicting with the host communities for resources,” she said.
Kiiza however thanked the government and the host community for the efforts that they have exhibited given the challenges that they are facing.
“We, as the Opposition, take this opportunity to thank the government together with the development partners for the efforts and the resources they have committed to ensuring that the lives of the refugees living in Pagirinya Camp get better,” she said
She however cautioned the officials of the ministries and agencies handling the money for the wellbeing of the refugees to avoid misappropriating the money meant to take care of the people.
During the tour, the settlers in the camp said that they were leaving in dire conditions. Gaitano Alex, a refugee from South Sudan told the Members of Parliament that the type of food that they are given was of poor quality, and of insufficient quantity.
“The only kind of food that we eat, soghum red carpet, is not fit for human consumption. It is tasteless and was machine dried and therefore we cannot enjoy it,” he said.
Gaitano added that due to the shortage of food, a number of refugees have decided to return to their homes, where some have ended up being killed.
Titus Jogo, a representative from the Office of the Prime Minister said that Pagirinya Camp was only three months in existence, and that the Government has done everything to ensure the people live a more comfortable life.
“Pagirinya Camp sits on 8,000 square kilometers and houses over 20,000 people; both the host tribe and the refugees from South Sudan,” he said.
He added that among the problems they are facing is the issue of financial resources, which he said were insufficient to realize all their programmes