Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | South Sudan Refugees living in urban areas in the West Nile region are unable to access their monthly relief food due to the ban on public transport and inter-district movement.
Several refugees after being registered in the refugee settlement camps prefer to stay in Arua City, Koboko municipality among other urban areas in the region for better social amenities.
Each month they return to the camps to receive their monthly food ration. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles, some South Sudan refugees staying in Arua city are struggling to find what to eat and can no longer sustain their families.
Nelson Mukulia, the General Secretary of the South Sudan Refugee association in West Nile says they are trying to help secure food for those stuck in urban areas.
Peter Aringu, the Chairperson of the South Sudan Refugee Association in West Nile says they are engaging partners to help deliver food to refugees stuck in Arua city and Koboko municipality.
However, Solomon Osakan, the refugee desk officer in the Office of the Prime Minister in Arua argues that there are no urban refugees in the West Nile region. He says those living in urban areas are doing so at their own cost.
West Nile region is home to hundreds of thousands of South Sudan and Congolese refugees living in various refugee settlement camps across the region. But due to the open refugee policy in Uganda, they are free to move, settle, do business and work in any part of the country.