- The project will run for a period of 36 months starting this year with funding from German Red Cross
- He said they will be supporting 135,000 beneficiaries in Bidibidi and Palorinya refugee settlements
- Leaders expressed worry over the narrow scope of the project that needs to be extended
By Elema Robert
Yumbe- Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has initiated Food security and livelihood project in Bidibidi refugee settlement in Yumbe district.
During the meeting at launch of the project at Premier hotel on Monday, Mr Simon Comrade the operations manager for Uganda Red Cross Society said they are looking forward in supporting a number of activities in this project.
He said they are going to extend support for Agriculture by distributing seeds, supporting communities to come up with micro finance projects, production of water for irrigation, vocational training, support technical people in doing soil fertility analysis, skills in post-harvest handling and establishing market linkages.
“We are going to mainly focus our intervention in Bidibidi zone five settlement where we previously implemented a number of lifesaving interventions during the emergency phase with support of International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and other Red Cross partners so we look forward to consolidating on what we had implemented during the emergency response.”
“We want to put together the little resources that we have as Red Cross together with the rest of the partners such that we a collective improvement in the well-being of the refugees and the host community,” he added.
The leaders during the meeting for the launch of the project. Photo by Elema
Mr Rasul Drajiga the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer said the population in Yumbe is about 1million people both refugees and the host community but this big population exerts a lot of pressure on the service delivery in the district.
He said they get excited whenever they have such interventions but theirs is to give the necessary support to ensure that what the partners have come up with is not interrupted by unfortunate occurance.
“This big population shouldn’t stay idle but they should be productive. We are ever complaining of the heavy lorries that are bringing food everyday for the refugees but we are thinking that it would be good if we if we turn this big population into production so that the lorries come here to pick food and take them elsewhere so that we are left with money.”
But Mr Yassin Taban the district chairman was not happy with the targeted beneficiaries saying NGOs and the government are in their projects mainly supporting the vulnerable groups of people which is not good.
“We have ever given out animals, seeds and other inputs to vulnerable groups of people but when you go on ground, the impact is not there. My thinking is with the experience we have previously in supporting the vulnerable groups, holistic approach could be used so that no body is left behind,” he said.
He added: “Those who have interest and can perform making you to shine be supported too other than only targeting the vulnerable groups which will let you down in the project because there are those who are already working and when you give them support, they make you shine, so if you collect the vulnerable alone, you will get yourself buried with the vulnerable”.