UN urged to support Refugees in Agriculture


Minister of Disaster Preparedness, Onek Hillary, (Facebook photo):

By Mandela Nelson Denis

As the planting season starts in Uganda, the Ugandan Minister of Disaster Preparedness has urged the United Nations to help South Sudanese refugees engage in agriculture.

In an exclusive phone interview with the Juba Monitor on Sunday, Onek Hillary revealed that pieces of land have been offered by the different host communities to refugees for farming.

According to the Minister, some of the plots of land given were inaccessible as they needed roads to be opened so that the refugees could get access to the land.

“I urge UN to make land useable, they should help the refugees build roads, so that there is easy accessibility by the refugees,” Onek said.

He added that South Sudanese refugees in Uganda were ready to engage in agriculture to produce enough food but they lack support.

“These refugees do not have money to open land for farming, though they are willing to engage in the agriculture. If they are supported, this will fight hunger in the refugee camps,” Onek told Juba Monitor.

In an earlier interview with Juba Monitor, refugees in Lamwo resettlement camp revealed that the land given for them was not productive and not good for farming.

However Onek Hillary said that the host communities have given land far from the settlement sites.

“The host communities have given land to our brothers and sisters from South Sudan, but the lands are far away, this explains why I am urging the United Nations to help the refugees access the land,” Onek lamented.

The Minister also urged all the host communities to avoid misusing resources meant for refugees. He also refused media report that Lamwo District was accused for misusing funds meant for refugees.

Last Week it was reported in one of the local FM stations in Northern Uganda that Lamwo district officials were accused by the Minister for misusing alleged 600million meant for refugees.

Onek Hillary also revealed that there are plans by the government to offer vocational skills to the refugees to empower them with knowledge to use when they return home.






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