13 September 2017

Church of Uganda gave relief items worth over 100 million to refugees

Over 600 households received relief items from the Church of Uganda, Diocese of Northern Uganda on Monday 4th September 2017.  The items included saucepans, Jerrycans, Sandals, blankets, plates, cups, assorted clothes as well as mosquito nets. While delivering the items to the Refugees in Pagirinya Camps, the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda Johnson Gakumba said they have been able to acquire those items from friends and well wishes of the Diocese of Northern Uganda. He prayed for Peace to return to Sudan so that these people are able to go back to their country of origin and engage in productive life. The Bishop who led a team of his staff actively participated in the distribution.

Pagirinya camp is one of the many refugee camps in Uganda and located in Adjumani District boarding Amuru. It is about 80 kilometers North West of Gulu town. 

The need in Pagirinya camp is huge and concerted effort of the different stakeholders is urgently required.

During the distribution, we met a young single parent woman called Sunday Coma with three children. Sunday says she last saw her husband in May 2016 since then she has no idea of the whereabout of her husband. She is struggling with erecting shelters for her children. Sunday says digging a latrine is impossible for her and that she helps her children to dig small holes for their faeces. Sunday says her children used to drink milk, eat eggs, and meat while in Southern Sudan, but since she came to Pagirinya, she has so far failed to feed her children as she used to do. Bishop Johnson gave her some money to buy a hen to rear for her children.

We also met a number of young people who are struggling to study and they lack fees to stay in school. We were also told that the schools in the camps are charging 5,000 shillings for pupils as fees per term, and those who are not able to raise the money are not allowed to study. One girl called Kevin now in Primary Six told us that they sometimes sell the relief items inorder to get money to pay for their fees.

Most of the elderly are equally suffering with no one to take care of their welfare. Some of them rely on left over of food grains that fall from the sacks during distribution.

Early this year a team from the Diocese of Northern Uganda visited Adjumani and Pagirinya camp where it carried out a rapid needs assessment. After the visit, the Bishop wrote to the office of the Prime Minister (OPM) requesting to partner with OPM, department of refugees to offer Humanitarian assistance to refuges in Adjumani, Gulu and Lamwo Districts in Northern Uganda. The OPM responded positively in a letter dated April 12, 2017 and since that time the Diocese of Northern Uganda has been on the ground providing as well as mobilizing requisite resources for humanitarian interventions. We also provided some items to the floods victims at Elegu boarder and Apar land conflict victims just a few weeks ago.

We therefore appeal to well-wishers to support the Diocese in ministering to the refugees. Remember this is part of our assignment given by Jesus Christ himself Mathew 25:36 ff “Naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison….”