No need for a new refugee camp in Agago district, says UNHCR

Refugees ar Bidibidi Reception Centre in Yumbe. Courtesy Photo.


AGAGO- United High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Uganda has said there is no need to establish a new refugee settlement camp in Agago district.

This was after the community of Paimol Sub-county in Agago district offered 40 square kilometers of land for the establishment of a refugee settlement camp in the area.

UNHCR -Uganda spokesperson Duniya Aslam Khan says, an establishment of a new refugee resettlement camp costs $3 million, yet the organization is struggling to realize funds to support humanitarian activities in the various refugee camps in Uganda.

In an interview with TND News, Aslam added that, “a refugee settlement camp is established according to the needs and figures of refugees in a given area or region.”

According to Aslam, for a particular land earmarked for an establishment of a refugee settlement camp, it has to undergo assessment, verification and survey that are carried out by the technical officers of UNHCR and the office of the prime minister.

“For a particular land earmarked for establishinga refugee camp, it has to undergo assessment, verification and survey by the technical officers,” Aslam said.

Aslam however said she was not aware of the letter that was reportedly written by the locals through the district Chairperson of Agago Leonard Opiyo to the office of the Prime Minister offering land owned by over fifteen clans.

Regional refugee Desk Officer in the office of the Prime Minister, Titus Jogo noted that, “the influx of refugees crossing from South Sudan to Uganda in the last one month is 134 refugees. They have been relocated to the various resettlement camps in West Nile.”

“Establishing a refugee camp calls for a lot of things including the huge influx of refugees into the region; over $3 million among other key priorities which are minimal or not there,” Jogo said.

Jogo denied OPM has not held any meeting with officials from UNHCR on the said land offered by the community for the t resettlement camp.

Opiyo said the land owners have nothing to lose should the UNHCR and OPM decline to take over.

Opiyo however noted that, they are still waiting for the aftermath of the meeting between OPM and UNHCR about land that was verified by the officials from OPM.


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