KAMPALA – Government ought to set up better systems and protocols to manage the inflow of refugees so as to enable adequate planning, the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, has said.
Oulanyah noted that the influx of refugees into the country has put immense pressure on host communities, which has affected the livelihood of Ugandans.
“At Malaba and Busia borders and Entebbe airport, we know everybody that comes in and out of the country because they are documented but there is no system to track the refugees in Uganda,” the Deputy Speaker said.
Oulanyah was speaking during the Refugee Management Symposium held under the theme: Exploring holistic refugee approaches that can benefit all, held at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Oulanyah said that the role of receiving refugees at various border points should be performed by security agencies including the Uganda Police and Internal Security Organization before they are handed over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
He reiterated the need for systems to manage refugees. The Deputy Speaker said infrastructure like schools and health centres need to cater for the needs of refugees without leaving out citizens in the refugee host communities.
Hon. Harold Muhindo (FDC, Bukonzo East) said Uganda was doing a good job in hosting refugees with an open-door policy, but added that the challenge of environmental degradation had affected host communities greatly.
The Adjumani district Chief Administrative Officer, Bayo Gabriel, said there is need for all stakeholders to work together in a bid to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable refugees as well as the host communities.