By Chris Ocowun
OVER 5,000 people are still living in internally displaced peoples (IDP) camps in Lamwo and Kitgum districts, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has said.
Charles Ssekatawa, the IRC field coordinator, said there were 5,708 people living in eight camps, 738 of whom were extremely vulnerable and in need of food and housing.
â€œA total of 319,646 former IDPs, out of 325,354 living in 25 IDP camps in the two districts have since 2008 returned to their homes.
Camps that are still operational are Potika â€˜Aâ€™ and â€˜Bâ€™, Aweno-Olwiyo, Pangira and Ngomoromo and Akilok and Mucwini in Lamwo district and Orom in Kitgum district.
Ssekatawa was speaking during the closure of the ICR partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) at Boma grounds in Kitgum on Thursday.
The IRC deputy director for programmes, Nicole Walden, said about 98% of the IDPs had returned home.
She said the organisation would support governmentâ€™s long-term development programmes in improving health, reducing gender-based violence and modernising agriculture. â€œWe shall continue working closely with UNHCR to rebuild the lives of the IDPs,â€ Walden said.
UNHCRâ€™s field officer, Zewdie Mulugeta, said 1,300 IDPs were living in three camps in Kitgum district, while 2,900 were in transit sites.
The Kitgum district vice-chairman, Bosco Ochola, appealed to the agencies to ensure that the land on which the closed camps are, is cleared such that its owners can use it.
The resident district commissioner, Alfred Omony Ogaba, said there were no major security threats from Karimojong cattle rustlers.