BY MARKO TAIBOT
ADJUMANI: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022
The minister for Local government, Raphael Magyezi, has signed a commitment with refugee hosting districts of Adjumani and Yumbe, the UNHCR and Action Against Hunger to make the two districts as models in the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM).
He wants the two districts as models because of hosting refugees and implementing the “Right to Grow,” a project of Action Against Hunger that has the same attributes as PDM where nationals have availed 3,420 acres of land for agricultural production.
Speaking to the leaders of the two districts at the council hall of Adjumani over the weekend, Magyezi said there is now hope that they can address the question of feeding the refugees because the government is putting a lot of money for that purpose.
“Being a refugee does not mean that you cannot produce your own food. If they can access land within their vicinity and they use the land to produce their own food, it will be a very big paradigm shift from looking at refugee as a problem to looking at a refugee as a source of income,” Magyezi said.
The country director of Action Against Hunger, Albert Siminyu, said they wanted to create a platform for dialogue between state and non-state actors to fast-track the implementation of the PDM.
He said when the government introduced the PDM, it become the second turning point and yet refugees have very limited access to land.
Action Against Hunger started to work with the local government so that refugees can participate in large-scale agriculture to increase agriculture production and value addition within a 30 by the 30-meter size of land.
“We also encouraged integration between refugees and host community members and supported the refugees so that they can form savings groups,” Siminyu added.
He disclosed that his organization also supported the refugees to access water for production by constructing close to 30 valley dams to support the production of food and cash crops throughout the year.
Each dam is 15 meters by 10 meters and 3 meters deed that has the capacity to retain approximately 500,000 liters of water.
The farmer groups have also been supported by mobile solar-powered irrigation equipment
Swadick Angupale, the deputy resident district commissioner for Adjumani, said he is hopeful that PDM will succeed in the district because many people still have access to land unlike in other communities where it is difficult to get individuals owning 50 acres of land.
Abdulmutwalib Asiku, an official from Yumbe district said that the district alone has 202 parishes and that means in five years Yumbe district will be able to get Sh101b under PDM.
He said if well utilized, this will be able to transform the lives of the people of Yumbe district including the refugees.
“We commit that, we are going to account for any single penny that comes to support our communities as far as improving their livelihoods is concerned,” Asiku promised.