YUMBE. Projects implemented under refugee and host population for empowerment (ReHoPE) in Yumbe district have stalled for the second time.
A total of 15 projects were implemented under ReHoPE program in Yumbe but some of the structures have not been operational due to lack of equipment.
Some of the stalled projects include; construction of operating theatres, classroom blocks, administrative units and school laboratories.
Speaking to West Nile Web on Monday, Mr Bernard Ayimani, the Yumbe district engineer said the structural and civil works on the projects have been completed but the only challenge is lack of equipment.
"Operationalisation of these facilities has become a problem due to lack of equipment. The equipment to make the facilities operational were not part of the projects which were awarded to the contractors under civil works," Ayimani explained.
"Since the facilities help in refugee operations especially the theatres and as ReHoPE was through UNHCR, I would think that funds should be lobbied in order to equip the facilities. If UNHCR is able to raise funds to equip the theatres, it will serve the purpose it was constructed for," he added.
Ayimani said the district can't manage to secure funds to equip the facilities unless some lobbying can be done through development response to displacement impact project (DRDIP) to finish the projects.
According to Dr Alfred Yayi, the Yumbe district health officer, they are mobilising resources from other programs to make sure that they have equipment to run the theatres but he said without the equipment, it's impossible!
He added that the newly constructed theatres are at Barakala, Ariwa and Yumbe health facilities. This will bring to 6 the number of theatres in Yumbe including the one of Lodonga health centre IV, Midigo health centre IV and Yumbe hospital once they reopen.
"We are trying to look for other ways to operationalise the theatres because they are of benefit to the community in different locations. Once they are functional, we will not refer mothers who can’t deliver normally to Midigo health centre IV and Yumbe hospital," Yayi said.
"Once the three theatres are equipped, they will save us a lot because referrals are very far away from home and sometimes, the Ambulances for referrals may not be there or fuel may be a problem hence putting the mothers at a high risk so, we would like people to access services from a short distance," Yayi added.
Mr Yassin Taban the district chairman said they have made some discussions with UNHCR about the stalled projects.
He observed that they were given two options for funding the incomplete projects that is through UNHCR and CRRF.
"We discussed with the UNHCR country representative but we were told to clearly write and submit documents about the gaps of the projects and they will see what to do. Another second option would be through CRRF secretariat that equally told us to write to them about the gaps and promised to fund the projects," Taban explained.
But Mr Solomon Osakan, the refugee desk officer said the money for ReHoPE projects got finished long time ago.
"What happened was, there was some balance of resources so UNHCR decided to use it for procuring vehicles to some districts which were commissioned recently. There is no more funding for ReHoPE projects," he said.