By Denis Turyahebwa
According to the ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze speaking to the press on Tuesday, Cabinet approved the Government’s quest to borrow US$ 251M from the international Development Association to finance the integrated Water management and development project.
Tumwebaze said the intention is to provide safe water and sanitation services in the project areas where refugees are accommodated.
‘’Gulu Municipality, Adjumani town council, Pakele, Ciforo and Dzaipi as well as the parishes of Agojo and Mungula, Busia town council, Namungalwe-Kaliro, Kyegegwa-Mpara-Ruyonza, Namasale, Mbale Municipality, Butaleja-Busolwe and Budaka-Kadama –Tirinyi- Kibuku are the project target areas’’. Tumwebaze explained.
He added that the project will support the provision of water and sanitation services to refugees and the refugee hosting communities in the districts of Adjumani,Moyo,Lamwo,Koboko,Isingiro and Hoima and also strengthen the National water resource monitoring and information systems.
When asked why Uganda would borrow such huge amount of money to fund refugee projects instead of engaging international community like the UN to support the refugee welfare, Minister Tumwebaze said that whether refugees were there or not the Government had to provide services to the people in those areas so the presence of refugees speeds up the service delivery.
Tumwebaze said that the UN made a commitment of over US$ 500M and also added that the issue of refugees is not a domestic issue, therefore the international community also plays its part but the Government also needs to act on improving services especially targeting Ugandan leaving in refugee hosting areas.