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Arua City Leaders Cry to Government Over Increasing Burden of Urban Refugees

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Geoffrey Feta, the Ayivu East Member of Parliament, says the one of the key roads in his constituency and water points have depreciated greatly because of the pressure on the resources. He says that they are in talks with the responsible government agencies to address the challenges.
Refugee Children Drawing water from a Tap within Arua City Surburbs.

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Arua city authorities have expressed concern over what they call the increasing burden of urban refugees. Arua City Central Division alone is home to an estimated more than 10,000 refugees, which has increased pressure on resources like water, health, education and road infrastructure. 

City authorities say that because of the COVID-19 restrictions, more refugees have moved to the city exerting more pressure on social services.  They want the central government to intervene by way of providing for more resources to address the challenges.

Geoffrey Feta, the Ayivu East Member of Parliament, says one of the key roads in his constituency and water points have depreciated greatly because of the pressure on the resources. He says that they are in talks with the responsible government agencies to address the challenges. 

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Jackson Atima, the Arua Central MP where over 6000 refugees have settled, says the pressure exerted on the available resource has increased because of competition between the refugees and host communities.   

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The Arua City Mayor, Sam Nyakua, says there is need for the central government to consider changing laws to provide for urban refugees in the national budget.

 

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However, Solomon Osakan, the Arua District Refugee Desk Officer, says that refugees are meant to stay in the camps, adding that those who opt to stay in the urban centers are presumed to be capable of providing for their needs.

“What we know is the gazetted place for refugees is in the camps and whoever is not there is not a refugee,” said Osakan.

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