Refugees Venture Into Farming
By Clement Aluma
Yumbe — Refugees fleeing from violence in the neighbouring South Sudan have ventured into farming as a way of averting the looming hunger.
The refugees at a newly established refugee settlement camp at Zone II in Swinga Sub-county in Yumbe District, have appealed to aid agencies to provide them with farming skills, short term seedlings and tools.
They say the area in which they have been settled is fertile enough for them to grow food with which they could supplement what World Food Organisation gives them.
Mr Moses Lubang, one of the elders at the settlement, said: “We need to engage in agriculture because we are farmers. We want hoes and seeds that can take short time so that we can cultivate for ourselves. We have been given plots of land but we do not have the tools to open them.”
Meanwhile, Caritas Uganda has donated some hoes and seedlings to the refugees in the camp.
During the handover of the items at the camp at the weekend, the director general of Caritas Uganda, Fr Francis Ndamira, said: “Other humanitarian agencies always give you (refugees) food and water but we want to add you more to develop. We shall give you staff members to train you on what to do on your small pieces of land that you have been given to supplement on food rations. Continue digging for your own good.”
About the camp
Opening. The camp was opened two months ago after Bidi-Bidi, the first camp in the district, became overwhelmed.
Population. It receives 2,300 refugees daily from South Sudan and currently, it is hosting about 200,000 refugees.
Land. Each family in a refugee settlement is given a plot of 30sq metres for cultivation but the refugees have also expressed worry at the approaching dry season that might hurt their crops.