MOYO. The residents of Obongi County in Moyo district have presented what they termed as ‘their position paper’ on refugee programs in the area to Mr Joel Boutroue, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) country director.
The position paper was early this week read to Boutroue by Mr Sam Tako, the chairman Obongi district task force during a meeting with landlords, elders and government officials at Obongi town council square.
Tako highlighted the need to return the former refugee settlement land at Kali back to the landlords, tarmac Moyo - Obongi road, the operationalization of Bellameling polytechnic school and compensation of landlords as some of the main issues locals want UNHCR to take note of.
He also said landlords in Obongi want to sign a memorandum of understanding with UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister for better service delivery.
Tako noted that their concerns are aimed at ensuring harmonious co-existence between refugees and the host communities in Obongi County. He warned other stakeholders against chipping politics in such humanitarian policy requirements.
Meanwhile Hon. Hassan Kaps Fungaro, the Obongi County Member of Parliament used the occasion to commend Boutroue for his historic visit to Obongi.
Fungaroo said Moyo district has now started fulfilling some refugee related demands of the people of Obongi through equitable allocation of Refugee and Host Population Empowerment Program (ReHoPE) funds due to Boutroue’s intervention.
But in his response, Boutroue referred Obongi landlords to OPM and Moyo district local government on issues pertaining land, stressing that UNCHR does not own land in Uganda but simply uses it for refugees programs.
He instead pledged UNHCR’s commitment towards improving the conditions of roads connecting refugee settlement camps to service points in Obongi County.
Currently, Obongi hosts over 100, 000 refugees at Palorinya refugee settlement camp in Itula Sub County.