TOP
Friday,June 05,2020 11:09 AM
  • Home
  • National
  • Gov't commits over sh460b to provide water for refugees

Gov't commits over sh460b to provide water for refugees

By Nelson Kiva

Added 13th March 2020 11:57 AM

According to the water and environment ministry, the plan is designed to provide comprehensive planning for both refugees and host communities within the context of the water and environment sector.

Gov't commits over sh460b to provide water for refugees

Left to right: First Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali, UN Resident Coordinator Rosa Malango, Minister of State for Environment Beatrice Anywar Atim, State Minister for Local Government Jennifer Namuyangu, and Minister of Relief and Disaster Preparedness Hilary Onek launching the water and environment refugee response plan for 2020-2022 in Kampala on March 12. Photo by Alfred Ochwo

According to the water and environment ministry, the plan is designed to provide comprehensive planning for both refugees and host communities within the context of the water and environment sector.

REFUGEES  

KAMPALA - The Government and the development partners have committed about sh462b ($124.2m) to provide water for refugees and the host communities in the next three years.

This is according to the water and environment sector response plan for refugees and host communities in Uganda (2019-2022) launched in Kampala on Thursday.

According to the water and environment ministry, the plan is designed to provide comprehensive planning for both refugees and host communities within the context of the water and environment sector.

The state minister for environment, Beatrice Anywar, said the plan is aligned with the upcoming National Development Plan III (NDPIII) for the period 2020/21-2025/26.

"The plan is guided by a number of government policies, plans, and frameworks with linkages to several international and regional commitments," she said.

Since 2016, the number of refugees hosted in Uganda has significantly increased. To date, about 1.4 million refugees reside in 13 settlements across 12 districts.

The districts are; Yumbe, Obongi, Arua, Adjumani, Koboko, Lamwo, Kiryandongo, Hoima, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa, Isingiro, and Kampala.

Uganda's open-door policy to the refugees has been globally lauded.  However, the government admits that the hosting of refugees places pressure on the country and its resources, and in particular the districts and communities that host them.

The most significant problems associated with refugee-affected areas are; depletion and pollution of water resources, deforestation, soil erosion, and poor waste management, among others.

"In view of the above, there is a need for sustainable use of the water, environment and natural resources through coordinated interventions involving all stakeholders for restoration, preservation and conservation actions to promote a peaceful co-existence of refugees and host community," she said.

The commissioner urban water and sewerage services, Eng. Richard Matua, presenting the budget, said in the first year sh93.1b will be required, sh213b, in the second year, while sh154b will be needed for the third year.

An appeal was put out for the different stakeholders to start committing funds to attain the plan.

The activities to be funded will include the provision of knowledge and skills to the refugees and host communities, provision of new water systems, enhancing the capacity of existing water systems and sustainable management of water supply systems.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative, Joel Boutroue, commended the plan and promised the support of the UN body.

He added; "Inclusion of the refugees is key because according to the situations, they will not go back home soon."

Refugees in Uganda consist mainly of South Sudanese, Burundians, Congolese, Somalis, Kenyans, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Rwandans. 

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango, commending Uganda for its open-door policy, emphasized that refugees and host communities need to be supported because they can contribute to development.

She reiterated that the UN will continue to support Uganda in addressing the challenges in the refugee-hosting communities.

The first deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali, who represented the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta, said; "With the overwhelming demands for resources, the government capacity has been stretched."

He, however, said Uganda remains committed to host and protect the refugees, in addition to including them in the national development plan.

Additional reporting by Sandra Asiimwe

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author