- Most of the South Sudan refugees have been depending on food handouts from World Food Program, Caritas and other well-wishers, that have not been enough since they are distributed once a month
- The project, that is to benefit about 1,200 people with establishment of 40 farmer groups in Omugo, Rigbo, Odupi and Uriama Sub-counties
- Humanitarian agencies have been encouraging the refugees and host communities to produce food on the available land and not to wait for handouts
ARUA. A Shs 1.6 billion has been signed by Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment West Nile (RICE-WN) seeking to improve on the lives of South Sudanese refugees in Arua district.
The funding from Care International is to be implemented for four years to promote inclusive governance for women and youth in the vulnerable communities in agricultural sector.
The Project Coordinator for RICE-WN, Ms Liberia Munduru, said that: “The depletion of natural resources has led to climate change effects such as prolonged dry season, irregular rain patterns, poor yields, crops and pests that have affected the adaptive capacity of women, men and youth to manage the hazards. So, these group of people will be empowered to produce crops for commercialization.”
She said the crops produced by both the refugees and the host communities will be marketed because new technologies will be introduced to them to increase production.
Most of the South Sudan refugees have been depending on food handouts from World Food Program, Caritas and other well-wishers, that have not been enough since they are distributed once a month.
This, recently, led to protests by the refugees especially in Omugo and Rhino camp settlements.
The project, that is to benefit about 1,200 people with establishment of 40 farmer groups in Omugo, Rigbo, Odupi and Uriama Sub-counties.
The Refugee Welfare Council in Rhino Camp Sub-county, Mr Joseph Amani, said: “We need to identify the farmers who can be committed to improving on farming technologies and produce in large quantities. And once the project starts, we need to work hard as see that stray animals do not destroy the crops. So, the Sub-county officials should avail us with the by-laws so that we can sensitise the refugees on food production.”
The leaders of RICE and district leaders meeting to discuss the project implementation. Photo by Felix
The Executive Director for RICE-WN, Mr Pax Sakari, said there was need to create financial access for both the refugees and host communities so that they can improve on food production.
“We shall collaborate and link them to the markets so that they can be able to sell their food products. We do not encourage subsistence farming alone but people should be able to produce for business,” he said.