New markets to boost trade in refugee communities

Refugees and members of the host communities thresh beans that was harvested from their 270-acre Mungula Farm in Itirikwa sub county, Adjumani District on October 21, 2021

What you need to know:

  • 19 Camps. Adjumani hosts 19 refugee settlement camps that is home to 220,000 South Sudanese. 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has announced plans to build modern markets in the refugee hosting districts of Adjumani and Obongi in West Nile Sub-region and Lamwo District in Acholi Sub-region.

The markets are intended to boost trade and agricultural productivity among refugees and the host communities.

Last week, UNDP and Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) officials led by Ms Sheila Ngatia, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, conducted joint monitoring of the project sites in Obongi and Adjumani districts.

During the joint monitoring exercise, the officials launched the construction works for the market facility at Ciforo Village, Ciforo Sub-county in Adjumani. The construction work is expected to be complete  in one year.  
While flagging off the works, Ms Ngatia said plans to build the markets were mooted in 2017 to boost business development and increase household income among the refugee population.   
She called for inclusive utilisation of the market once complete. 

In Obongi, the market will be established at Ndirindiri Trading Centre whereas in Lamwo, the facility will be built at Palabek Centre in Palabek-ogili Sub-county.

 Mr Data Peter Taban, the Adjumani Resident District Commissioner, told Daily Monitor that the market will nurture peaceful coexistence among refugees and the host communities. 

“The markets will help to bring the people together so that they can learn from each other. It also provides easy access to commodities that are otherwise difficult to get” Mr Data said at the weekend. 

He added that the markets would also provide an opportunity to the refugees to start businesses.

Mr Raymond Mukiisa, the UNDP’s Uganda Host and Refugees Community Empowerment (UHRCE) project manager, said each of the markets will cost approximately Shs500 million.

He said refugees and host communities have in the past lacked markets to trade their commodities.  
“We want to establish markets to improve and create an enabling environment safe for them to run their businesses. In Adjumani, we launched and commissioned the market. We are also going to engage them in agricultural commercialisation,’’ Mr Mukisa added.

Mr Ben Anyama, the Adjumani chairperson, warned locals against misusing the facility.

“The space should be shared equally by both refugees and the communities,” Mr Anyama said.
Adjumani hosts 19 refugee settlement camps that are home to 220,000 South Sudanese. Lamwo on the other hand has nearly 65,000 refugees.

The UHRCE project is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency and UNDP in the districts of Adjumani, Obongi and Lamwo.