The programme Empowering Refugee Hosting Districts in Uganda: Making the Nexus Work implemented by VNG International conducted a household survey on the impact the presence of self-settled refugees has on service delivery in Koboko Municipal Council. The report was presented during the regional meeting of the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) of the Northern region. An overwhelming number of over 300 people were present.
Picture: State Minister for Northern Uganda, Mrs Grace Freedom Kwiyochwiny unveils the report on Tuesday 28th of November 2018.
Whilst the responsibility for the initial refugee response lies with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), it is noted that refugee response is not only settlement based, but has an impact on the whole of the district, making local governments part and parcel of a successful response.
In Koboko, while no reliable data were available on exactly how many refugee households reside within the district boundaries, the presence of self- settled refugees was felt, as it placed an enormous strain on the already stressed services provided by Koboko District Local Government and Municipal Council. While more research is needed, this report has provided some credible evidence on the existence of self-settled refugees in urban areas and the impact they have on service delivery.
The Chairman of Koboko District Local Government indicated, that “as local governments, rural and urban alike, it is our civic and political responsibility to keep up the high standard in providing a safe sanctuary for the ones in need, whilst ensuring the well-being of the host communities at the same time”. The launch of this report is therefore an appeal, that whilst the Government of Uganda and development partners work towards implementing the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), resources are also directed to support refugee hosting district local governments, including the urban authorities, to address the challenges of service delivery in a more consultative and coordinated manner.