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UNDP, KOICA launch construction of three markets in refugee hosting districts

ADJUMANI – The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] in partnership with the Korean International Cooperation Agency-KOICA launched the construction of markets in each of the three refugee hosting districts in Northern Uganda.

The market construction project was launched in Ciforo sub-county in Adjumani district.

The markets will be constructed in the Adjumani, Obongi and Lamwo districts at a tune of Shs150 million. This is part of the USD 9 Million, approximately Shs 37bn Uganda Host and Refugee Empowerment Project being implemented by World Vision, among other implementing organizations.

Raymond Mukisa, the Uganda Host and Refugee Empowerment Project Manager said through the project, over 10,40 people, both host communities and refugees have received training in various income-generating activities under the economic empowerment, livelihood interventions.

Mukisa also said, the beneficiaries have been struggling to access local markets to sell their products and goods due to the poor roads, sunshine or rain which has negatively impacted on the growth of their businesses.

Through the market construction, Mukisa said both the refugees and host communities have the platform to sell, store and save their money in the market stalls, stores that will be constructed and savings groups that have already been formed.

Luke Drazelega, the LCIII Chairperson Ciforo sub-county said, the sub-county has been operating without a permanent market for the last 30 years which greatly affected the economic empowerment and livelihood of the host communities and now the refugees.

Drazelega notes that with a new market coming to his sub-county, this will boost local revenue base, as well as development of the sub-county.

Lawrence Buni, the Macupe clan, who donated the 80 by 100-meter piece of land for the construction of the market says, they initially were forced to move for over 10km to access services in the market.

Grandfield Omona, the Adjumani district Chief Administrative Officer [CAO] said, they have already started construction.

Buni further said, with the market nearer, they expect buyers from nearby districts including Yumbe, Obongi, Amuru among others which will directly impact on the local economy.

Sheila Ngatia, the Deputy Country Representative of the United Nations Development Program [UNDP] tasked the community members to own the project for the sustainability of the market.

With the market yet to be designed, Ngatia says, the design should cater for renewable energy, water sourcing and storage and possibly a youth resource center as well as security, which all contribute to socio-economic transformation of the refugees and host communities.

Ciforo sub county has a total of 27,000 Ugandans with 7,000 South Sudanese refugees.

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