By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto
Obongi district leaders in Uganda’s West Nile region are encouraging refugees in Palorinya Refugee Settlement to embark on agricultural activities as rainy season starts.
The leaders have launched a campaign after United Nations World Food Program and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced a reduction in food ration and cash grants offered to refugees settled in the area due to global economic challenges.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the refugee desk officer in Obongi district, Titus Jogo encouraged the refugees to focus on farming.
Jogo noted that the food a person may get from his or her farm can be more than the one UNHCR gives.
“The time you will realize the importance of farming, you will not think of UNHCR donations,” he said.
“Do not sit and wait for UNHCR while you are starving,’’.
Kiden Eveline, a refugee living in Palorinya settlement in Obongi district however said they lack farmland for cultivating crops.
“The host community do not offer for us free lands for cultivation, where do (you) expect us to plant,’’ she asked.
Jogo urged district leaders to engage some refugee farmers to do the campaign jointly.
“There are these refugees who have experience in farm works, I urge the local authorities to engage them in this exercise,” he added.
Last year, a number of refugees accused host community of seizing their farmland asking them to pay money seasonally.