The State Minister for Bunyoro Affairs, Mr Ernest Kiiza, has commissioned two newly constructed classroom blocks in Kiryadongo District to boost education among refugee communities.
The classroom blocks were commissioned at Diika Seed Secondary School and Nyamahasa Primary School last Friday.
Mr Kiiza said the classrooms were constructed under the Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP), a programme established by the Office of the Prime Minister to reduce pressure on hosting communities.
“The open-door policy where we are allowing every refuge to come in is piling pressure on the host communities and that is why DRDIP is here to help bridge the gap. There have been many dropouts due to lack of enough classrooms, but this will enhance the education system,” he said. The minister advised the beneficiaries to protect and preserve the facilities so that they can be used for a long time.
The classrooms were constructed alongside five-stance drainable pit-latrines, a lightening conductor and 10,000-litre rainwater harvesting tanks for each blocks.
Ms Juliet Kusiima, the district education officer, said she has been getting reports of many children dropping out of schools due to a large population caused by the refugees.
The DRDIP programme was given $15m loan (Shs55b) to help hosting communities. Some of the on-going projects include rehabilitation of Nyakadote- Panyandoli-Kimogoro-Kawitit-Mutunda-Dima road, construction of other classrooms at Kankkoba and Kinyara primary schools in Kiryadongo, among others.
Other DRDIP projects are in Arua, Moyo, Yumbe, Koboko, Hoima, Kiryadongo, Isingiro, Kyegegwa and Kamwenge Districts.
Kiryadongo District hosts refugees from Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Rwanda and DR Congo. Uganda is home to more than one million of Africa’s six million refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 132,546 refugees in Uganda are projected to be in need of resettlement in 2019.