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Gov’t of Poland to renovate graveyard of Polish refugees in Masindi

The graveyard left behind by the Polish refugees is set to be renovated by the government of Poland. URN photo

Masindi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government of the Republic of Poland is set to renovate a graveyard left behind by the Polish refugees at Nyabyeya village, Budongo sub county in Masindi district.

The graveyard that has 48 graves of some of the Polish refugees who died in Nyabyeya village when they settled in Masindi is currently in bad shape.

It is located near St Mary Nyabyeya Catholic Church that was also constructed and left behind by the Polish refugees.

URN visited the graveyard which attracts tourists especially the Polish people in Uganda and those abroad and discovered that some of the graves had started sinking while others have been covered by grass.

Now, Rev. Father Peter Wasswa, the country director of the Polish Development Organization in Uganda told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the government of Poland through the ministry of culture is set to renovate the graveyard at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

He says the renovation works of the graveyard that will include painting and fencing of the entire premises is meant to make the place look good and most importantly to respect the Polish refugees who died of various illnesses and were buried in Nyabyeya.

Francis Jawiambe, one of the locals settled in Nyabyeya village where the graveyard is situated says there is need to have the graveyard renovated since it is in bad shape yet it attracts tourists to the area.

Uganda hosted close to 7,000 Polish refugees, mainly women and children between l942 and 1944.

The British protectorate government settled the Polish refugees in Nyabyeya parish, Budongo sub-county, Masindi district and Koja (Mpunge) in Mukono district.

To date, especially at Nyabyeya forestry college institute, many of the structures built by the Polish refugees are still standing. They include twin houses also known as labour camps that used to accommodate Polish refugee widows.

There are also many water sources constructed by the Polish refugees that still serve the community. One structure that has stood the test of the time is the former house for the Polish refugee camp commandant within Nyabyeya Forestry College.

The refugees built the Church of Our Lady Queen of Poland Catholic Church that has since been renamed St. Mary Nyabyeya Catholic Church and stands a few meters from Nyabyeya Forestry College.

Built between 1943 and 1945 by the Polish refugees, the church still serves the local community.

Polish students renovated the church in 2010.



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