Moyo-Leaders and residents of Obongi County in Moyo district have petitioned government over the challenges of hosting refugees and the need to operationalize Obongi district.
These above demands dominated the 2017 Obongi day celebrations held on Saturday at Itula Sub-county headquarters.
Presenting the host community concerns at the celebrations, the Member of Parliament for Obongi County Hassan Kaps Fungaroo said infrastructure like roads, schools, health centers, scarcity of water, arrogance of some implementing partners towards issues of refugees among other concerns need to be addressed.
He emphasized the need to understand, appreciate and promote the role of the host communities, whom he said have willingly provided land for settlement and agriculture, good hospitality and protection of human rights.
Some of the refugees dancing during the Obongi day.
Sam Asusi, the secretary for security and refugee affairs Moyo district local government says there are over 180,000 refugees in Palorinya and this calls for more and urgent support from the government and implementing partners
He however commended the people of Obongi for readily receiving and accepting to host the refugees and sharing with them despite wide range of challenges arising from the increased number of people in their area.
Meanwhile Charles Oyet, a representative for the refugees in the five zones of Palorinya commended the government of Uganda, UNHCR and implementing agencies and the people of Obongi for receiving and hosting them.
He however decried the missing names of refugees, which he says has left many without relief supplies, the increasing number of implementing partners who are not offering sufficient and rightful services and lack of secondary and vocational education for the refugees as some of the challenges that need to be addressed.
Oyet speaking during the Obongi day. Photos by Felix
However the UNHCR head of field office Moyo, Nene Diallo assured the people and the leaders that the refugee agency is committed to working with the people of Obongi and the implementing partners to ensure that the challenges are fully addressed.
Lyndon Komakech, the chairperson greater north parliamentary forum, the guest of honor for the occasion promised to deliver the demands of the people of Madi and Obongi to the Office of the Prime Minister and the President and give a feed back.
“As stakeholders, we must address the challenges of refugees and host communities and ensure that the role of the youth in preserving culture is promoted,” Komakech said.
He added that what causes refugees to flee to Uganda must be addressed stressing that leader must speak with one voice if the infrastructural and other development challenges of West Nile are to be addressed.
Thousands of people including the Woman MPs for Koboko and Adjumani, delegation of South Sudanese refugees leaders and the people of Madi sub region who attended the celebrations were however disappointed after the official guest of honor Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda failed to show up without notice.