ADJUMANI/MOYO. As the World marked the international refugee day on 20th of June, refugees in Adjumani and Moyo district used the day to appeal for their improved welfare in the settlements.

Mr Williams Khemis, a refugee welfare committee’s chairperson in Pagirinya settlement in Adjumani district which hosts more than 30,000 South Sudanese refugees said food remained their biggest challenge as they depend on food rations distributed by World Food Program.

“Even when we are interested in cultivating, there is no land for us to do farming, we also still face challenges of accessing local materials like wood fuel for cooking, we really would like these issues to be addressed because they are affecting us” Khemis said.

Mr David Thokbor, another welfare committee chairperson of Mungula settlement said the scarcity of necessities has generated criminality in camps where food crops of some refugees are being stolen from the gardens.

Children entertainingChildren entertain guests with a traditional dance during the World refugee day.

But Ms Enid Ochieng, the acting head of Sub office for UNHCR Adjumani said they remain committed in supporting and addressing some of the challenges that the refugees are encountering while in Uganda.

In Moyo district, the day was celebrated in Itula Sub County Obongi Couty where the program officer for UNHCR sub Office Mr Antonius Kamerika expressed gratitude to the people of Moyo and Uganda for taking the burden of hosting such a large number of refugees despite the limited resources the country has.

“We shall remain grateful for the commitment of the government of Uganda and her people, UN agencies and other humanitarian actors for their commitments and support accorded in the protection of the refugees. The grate partnerships we enjoy to ensure the highest standard of commitment of the government to the refugees remains remarkable” Mr Kamerika said.

South Sudan refugeesA section of South Sudan refugees women dance during the World refugee day.

Mr Job Tabu, an assistant chief administrative officer in Moyo district cautioned development partners against the quality of services offered to the refugees and accountability of each activity implemented to ensure that people benefit from the projects meant to support the refugees.

“As a district local government our mandate is to deliver services to all people in our areas of jurisdiction, we have opened our doors to integrate all our services to benefit both the host and refugees, where we are now, we are not talking about war but we are talking about development that’s why we are sharing services together which is a sign of peace and love between the two communities” Tabu remarked.

Each year, the day is commemorated to recognize the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees who have fled their country and also to encourage communities to support the refugees to rebuild hope.