By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto
The existence of South Sudanese refugees at Palorinya Refugee settlement in Obongi District of Uganda’s West Nile region has positively contributed to development of the livelihoods of business people of Moyo and Obongi districts and beyond.
This is because the over 226,000 refugees who settled at Palorinya refugee settlement have created market opportunities for goods and services of the business people.
The business operators move their goods and services to the settlement on selected market days, weekly and get back home with smiles on their faces as they make good monies from sales of food items and other commercial commodities.
But as the business flourishes between the citizenry and the refugees, the road networks are becoming an impeding factor during this rainy season as the roads leading to the markets in the settlement are almost becoming impassable.
Therefore, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Moyo District, Gore Goffin made an appeal to the district local government to consider improving the feeder roads in the district that are going bad due to the rains.
He said improving the roads will encourage and enable the business people to move their goods and services to the refugees to make money to enhance their livelihoods.
“Many people got rich when refugees were brought in Uganda, I am asking the local government to also improve their roads for them to access markets and schools,” she said.
The Resident District Commissioner also encouraged the district leaders to work with security operatives to secure the security of the people who move to the markets in the refugee settlement.
“Their security is paramount and we need to look at them like brothers and sisters,” she added.
The District Planner and Refugee Integration Officer, Ireku George Mbaya called on the district leaders to embrace the market opportunity by providing good roads to the business community and encourage the refugees and the host communities to interact freely for social and economic local development as guided by the National and District Development Plan III and the refugee response plan.
“For them to feel at home, we need to stay with them and eat together,” she lamented.