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Digital solutions sought for challenges faced by refugees in Uganda

By Nelson Kiva

Added 3rd December 2017 06:55 PM

Uganda hosts refugees from the neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Someoftheinnovatorssuggestingsolutionstotherefugeechallengesattheinnovationsvillageinntindainkampala 703x422

Uganda hosts refugees from the neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Some of the innovators during the meeting at Innovations Village in Ntinda in Kampala

Challenges in information dissemination, education delivery, distribution of items and goods, agricultural services for increased productivity and marketing, diseases among others remained outstanding in the refugee camps in Uganda.

Japhet Kawanguzi, a team leader at Innovations Village of Africa in Kampala, is convinced that innovators can play a role by suggesting and developing simplified digital solutions to some of the challenges.

He suggested that humanitarian organisations, development partners and government engage the innovators for their take as the crisis neared no end.

Last year, Uganda took in more refugees than any other country in the world. 

Uganda hosts refugees from the neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

This has presented with challenges among others agricultural productivity, information dissemination and distribution of items and goods.

Kawanguzi said the Innovations village Africa had joined with United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Mercy Corps, Dan Church Aid and over 300 innovators from across the region to develop the necessary digital solutions to some of the problems.

The country director Dan Church Aid, Karin Elisabeth Lind, said information penetration in the refugee communities remained low with phones infiltration at only 30% and digital literacy as low as below 10%.

“This makes it complicated to effectively mobilize refugee camp villages for food, agricultural outstanding information on seed varieties, inputs, markets or education opportunities”, she said.

Emilienne Cyuzuzo, in charge of cash and digital solutions Dan Church Aid at Bidibidi refugee camp, in Yumbe district, said: “the over 21,000 basic phones, they gave out in the camp of 287301 did not serve the purpose since they are not digital enhanced.”

 

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