By Mike Sebalu
International relief agencies operating in refugee settlements are asking the government to consider allocating bigger chunks of land within their host communities to promote commercialized agriculture.
This, they say will improve their well-being and at the same time promote food security among the refugees and host communities.
According to Sam Busingye, the Project Manager at Peace Project refugees in Bidibidi refugee settlement in Yumbe district, with dwindling donor funding, there is need for more interventions for self-sustenance.
He was speaking at celebrations to mark 1 and a half years of a 3-year peace project in refugee settlements and host communities in Yumbe district.
In February 2021, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) with support from the Norwegian Embassy -Kampala and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs started implementing the project in Bidi Refugee Settlement that runs until March 2024, providing education opportunities, advocacy, counselling & economic empowerment with the aim of empowering children, youth and women.
During the first one and half years, the project has improved food security for 1,865 small hold farmers through block farms and backyard garden, improved resilience of 20 community-saving groups (591 members) and equipped 867 Youth (adolescent girls and boys) with both vocational and life skills.
The same project also prepared 940 children for primary education through home learning. Over Shs1.6 billion has been spent in the past one and half years of the project.