ADJUMANI. The office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Tuesday commissioned projects worth Ugandan shillings 1.4 billion under the development response to displacement impact project (DRDIP) in Adjumani district.

The commissioned projects include the Openzinzi health centre III outpatient department (OPD) block, supply-delivery, and installation of lightning protection project, the installation of a 10,000-litre capacity rainwater harvesting tank and a solar power unit.

Others are; the two-block of three classrooms, three blocks of five stance drainable latrines, the supply of classroom furniture to Fuda primary school and the rehabilitation of Openzinzi - Obilokong road of 9.5kilometers among others.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the first deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali commended the community project management committee, the district leadership and the technical staff from the DRDIP program for successfully managing the projects to their logical conclusion.

He noted that the coming of the refugees resulted in to pressure on social services in the district that necessitated the DRDIP projects.

“I want to appeal to the people of Adjumani to take advantages of the facilities and also make use of new opportunities that come with them”, Gen Ali advised.

He urged the district leadership to design a maintenance plan so that the facilities will stand the test of time and meet people’s expectations.

Ali added that the idea of DRDIP is to improve the relationship between refugees and the host communities and improve service delivery.

The country representative for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Mr Joel Butros who was part of the commissioning exercise remarked that DRDIP is part of the refugee and host population empowerment (ReHoPE) program.

“In fact, DRDIP which you are seeing today is an expansion of ReHoPE program which translates into the political commitment of this country,” Butros said.
He said DRDIP is an indication that development is taking route in refugee-hosting districts.

Butros re-affirmed the commitment of UNHCR together with other UN agencies to lobbying more funds to support both the refugees and the host communities.

He pledged that as long refugees continue to be around, UNHCR and other partners will also continue to work together with local authorities to make their lives better.

Mr James Pili Leku, the Adjumani district chairman told the gathering that the district is in support of refugees and promised that the projects will benefit both refugees and host communities at all cost.

He said as the projects are being implemented, they have equally transformed local contractors economically.

Mr Charles Bafaki, the principle resettlement officer in the OPM who is the project manager DRDIP stated that DRDIP is a USD200million project intended to benefit refugee-hosting districts.

He revealed that DRDIP project has three components of infrastructure development which take 60% of the budget, environment with a budget of 30% while livelihood takes 10%.

He assured the beneficiaries of the quality of the work done which he says will last for more than 50 years.