Provision of Re-settlement Kits for Returnees in North-Eastern Uganda
February 28, 2009
Morungatuny camp, established in 1979, is one of the largest camps in Obalanga Sub County in North Eastern Uganda. Close to 20,000 people are living there in inhuman conditions. They have experienced famine, war, floods and some have had their children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) during the rebel incursion into Amuria district in 2003. Their health has been compromised and preventable infectious diseases such as respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal infections, malnutrition, malaria and HIV/AIDS have accounted for chronic sicknesses, disabilities and deaths.
Finally, there is a sense of hope because active fighting has not occurred for two years and people in the IDP camps are beginning to consider returning home. The government of Uganda is also encouraging them to do so. One of the main obstacles preventing people from returning home is extreme poverty. People do not have the resources to buy basic commodities like seeds, fertilizer and hoes for farming, axes and tools to repair and rebuild their homes and clothing and basic health care for their families.
REI funding to this project will help in overcoming these obstacles by providing re-settlement kits to 200 families living in the Morungatuny Camp and follow-up support over two years. Each resettlement kit costs $US 100.00 and contains 13 items, including kitchen items, tools, seeds and water sanitizers. These kits will allow people to leave the Camp and to return home for the first time in 25 years. Families will then be able to begin rebuilding their lives, re-establish their businesses and settle to life in their communities again.
The project is administered by the M-PROJ Uganda Limited, that has been working in the IDP camps for some years and successfully implemented various programs, notably Medical outreach clinics, the supply of scholastic materials to children at Opot and Morungatuny primary schools, peace building interventions between the IDPs and neighbouring communities and the training of health workers working with the IDP populations.
The resettlement kits provided by M Proj Uganda enabled 200 families to more easily return to daily life. The kits provided allowed families to clear land and plant crops. Crops were shared with neighbors and a total of 300 families are now able to have 2 meals a day. The waterguards enabled access to clean water that reduced the incidence of malaria, diarrheal diseases and worm infestations. The access to clean water has also improved school attendance rates due to improved health in the children.
This project also helped to develop community participation and leadership, human rights, public health and women and education within the returnee community. This was accomplished by 2 group training sessions. As a result of these training sessions disputes over land are publicly mediated and resolved, people meet together to address and prevent human rights violations, women fully participate in community decision making, small businesses receive support from micro-finance, child-headed households are supported and the number of men without employ has reduced.
Elizabeth is a beneficiary of the resettlement program in North Eastern Uganda. She is especially thankful for the seeds and knowledge that she received. Her neighbor did not have a good harvest so she gave them some of her own crop. Even after giving some of her food, Elizabeth’s health has improved and she is able to eat two meals a day. With her communities increased knowledge on human rights they are putting pressure on their local government for support.