The World Food Programme (@WFP) has begun construction of a $1.5 million (roughly sh5.5 billion) staff housing unit, which will provide relief to its employees who have been travelling more than 100 kilometres each day to get to their work location in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in Kyangwali Sub-County, Kikuube District.
On January 19, 2023, at the WFP headquarters in the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, country director Abdirahman Meygag officially launched the 10-month project, which will be carried out by K. K Associates.
Meygag claimed the initiative was initially launched in 2019 after they realised their over 23 employees were encountering many difficulties while travelling a total of over 200 kilometres every day to and from their workplace.
The staff have been going to Kyangwali every day from their homes in Hoima City.
He stated that the initiative was meant to begin two years ago, but it was pushed back because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to Meygag, the employees spend the majority of their time travelling. Therefore, building new houses close to where they work will provide them more time to work and will thereby enhance service delivery to the host communities and refugees.
He further said that when the project is over, it will aid the organisation in saving money on transportation and car maintenance costs.
The shortage of accommodations has been impairing the performance of the personnel and endangering their health, according to Meygag, problems that the project is anticipated to resolve once finished.
Meygag also mentioned that a similar project is being undertaken in the Yumbe District.
Meygag praised Uganda for what he described as its extensive efforts to ensure the security and welfare of refugees. He continued by saying that the generosity of Uganda inspires them to respond when a request is made to enhance the provision of services to both the host community and the refugees.
WFP engineer Emmanuel Kizito praised the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for offering the site for the project.
Information about the Project
Kizito stated that the 32 dwelling units will have a 50,000-liter water reservoir, recreational opportunities, an insulating solar plant, a water treatment plant, and a CCTV system for employee protection.
Additional Projected Advantages of the Project
Peter Banura, the chairman of the Kikuube District, expressed enthusiasm for the project and claimed it would advance local development.
The WFP staff, according to him, will spend money in Kyangwali Sub-County that they have been spending in Hoima City.
To make sure that the people appreciate and own the project, he asked the contractor to take into account providing jobs to the local community throughout project execution.
Tracking the Project
Peter Bisoborwa, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for Kikuube, praised WFP for advancing the welfare of the refugees and encouraging development in the region.
He insisted that for the RDC office to be able to oversee the project, WFP management must deliver the bills of quantities.
The commandant of the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement Tophious Chali urged the district officials to take ownership of the project because it belonged to the district.
She said that the Government owns all initiatives carried out by various development partners and that the project would continue to be owned by the Government until refugee activities in the region are reduced.
Chali pressed the contractor to finish the job quickly and to the highest standard.
She pointed out that the building of the facilities was a success for both OPM and the WFP personnel.
Call for Assistance
Jolly Kobusigye, the refugee desk officer, also thanked WFP for sponsoring the development of their staff housing and requested them to find a method to assist OPM in paying for the construction of its staff quarters.
“When you see where OPM staff are sleeping, you will get amazed. So, let’s see how once in while there is also something that is pushed to OPM as part of the support. This is because when you look at how they [OPM staff] are accommodated, there is a lot of insecurity,” she said.