PADER – Development partners in livelihood programs have tipped local communities in Pader to tap into business opportunities as the district is set to host more refugees.
The team from Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), last week reached the proposed site located at Achol-pii, to assess the suitability of the area for refugees coming in to be accommodated in the area.
Coordinator of Mukwano Industries Uganda Limited, Sam Acuti, said as partners in livelihood programmes, it is time for host communities to engage in some form of business as more refugees settle in the district.
“We know food demand will be high and we feel that if such business opportunities are tapped into, the lives of the local population will improve,” he advised.
LCV Chairperson Obwoya Oyat, told theCooperator that as OPM finalizes with plans to bring refugees to Pader, the technical team will also reach out to the local community on how best to get involved in livelihood projects since there will be available market for whatever they produce.
“The inspected land can accommodate more than 20,000, refugees and we know when they get here, it means more business to the host communities,” he said.
The District Commercial Officer, Alfred Obaloker, said several stakeholders are in high gear sensitizing the masses on the upcoming business opportunities.
“All is set for our people and community engagements are still on going,” he said
Julius Kamuza, the Camp Commandant, Lamwo Refugee Settlement confirmed that a team from OPM, reached out to the district officials and they had a lengthy discussion on the land availability to host refugees.
“Our engagement was with the district leaders and host communities on land availability, we are waiting for their communication,” according to him.
Currently, there are 60,000 South Sudan refugees settled in the three centers in Lamwo district, they fled their homes in 2017, after mayhem broke out back in South Sudan.
Recently, Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Hilary Onek, said OPM was searching for possible land that can host more refugees that are most likely to come in looking at the continued unrest back home.
A total of 1.5 million refugees are already settled in Uganda according to statistics from the Humanitarian aid agency, United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country- wide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news