Uganda: Over 2,000 Kenyan Refugees Shift to Masindi
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New Vision (Kampala)
13 May 2008
Posted to the web 14 May 2008
A total of 2,011 Kenyan refugees have been relocated from Mulanda transit centre in Tororo district to Kiryandongo refugee settlement camp in Masindi district.
The spokesperson of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Roberta Russo, said the relocation was optional.
“The agency has been transferring the refugees since Monday,” said Russo.
Most of them moved because they wanted their children to attend school.
Kiryandongo has four primary and one secondary school, a health centre III and piped water.
The refugees got food, tents, hoes, pangas, sickles, slashers and jerry-cans. “The World Food Programme supplied the food. We allocated them plots of 100m x 50m for their homes and for farming,” Russo said while touring the settlement with journalists on Friday.
The refugees get 15kgs of maize, two of beans, 1.2 of supplementary feed, 150 grammes of salt and 600 millilitres of oil monthly, said Ben Okello, the food clerk.
“Children and adults get the same food ration,” he added.
The UN agency has a budget of $10m for the 200,000 refugees in Uganda, most of them from Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya.
Conflict, Peace and Security
Refugees and Displacement
“The money is not enough, but can keep the refugees alive and give them supplies,” said Russo.
Peter Karanja, the refugees’ leader, lauded Ugandans for their good hospitality.
“Our biggest problem at Kiryandongo is the salty water. The other is farming. About 90% of the refugees are business people who had never handled hoes. Telling them to till land is a problem,” he said.