By Cecilia Okoth
The Government has dispatched relief items worth sh100m given by the World Islamic Call Society from Libya to the refugees living in the Sango bay refugee camp in Rakai district.
The Sango Bay refugee camp, according to the Minister for Disaster, Relief and Refugees Hillary Onek, has the biggest number of refugees in the country, the latest being expellees from Tanzania, with little or no services rendered at the camp.
The goods items included maize and soya flour, rice, beans, sugar, salt, soap, mosquito nets, jerrycans, blankets and scholastic materials.
“Uganda currently has 320,000 refugees from Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania, which is a clear reflection of instability in the region,” Onek said while addressing journalists and a team of delegates from Libya at the Gadaffi Mosque in Old Kampala, yesterday.
L-R: Acting Deputy Mufti of Uganda Shk. Khatwib Mukuwakika ,Minister for Disaster Preparedness Hillary Onek ,World Islamic Call Society Country Director Mohamed Khalifah Shatir and Nizar Osmah from the libyan embassy praying for the relief aid Libya before sending it off to refugees in Sangobay camp, Rakai district. Photo/Esther Namirimu
He added; “The expellees living in Sango Bay were not given the opportunity to carry their belongings and neither were they allowed to withdraw their savings.”
There are currently 4,500 expellees living in Sango Bay, majority of who are of school going age and are faced with malnutrition, lack of scholastic materials and food.
The expellees include people who have been in the country for ages, even before independence. Many even have voting cards.
Mohamed Khalifah Shatir, World Islamic Call Society’s Country Director however said they had lined up a support team to boost the health of those in the camp, as well as immunizing the children.
“Two doctors from Libya will volunteer with Ugandan doctors to treat patients at the camp,” Shatir said.
Onek hailed them for the great humanitarian response towards the needy in Uganda.
However Onek reassured the public of the security saying, “We receive refugees and take them to designated areas and then take them back to their countries.” adding that most refugees have run away from prosecutions in their countries.
He also noted that all those who come into the country get immunized to avoid any out break of epidemics and that those seen with weapons were disarmed.