The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR is requesting for more land in Lamwo district to host refugees from South Sudan.
In 2017, locals in Palabek Gem and Ogili sub counties offered a 50 square-mile chunk of land to host refugees fleeing war in South Sudan. The land was initially meant to accommodate 40,000 refugees.
However, the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM requested more land after the population target was adjusted when the number of refugees hit 60,000 in November 2021.
During the celebration of World Refugee Day at the settlement camp in June, Felicitas Nebril, the head of the UNHCR sub-office in Lamwo and Adjumani said that the population of refugees had hit 67,000, constituting 37 percent of the total refugee population in the country.
A report by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR indicates that Lokung reception center in Lamwo district has a capacity of 560 refugees, but between January to August 4, 2022, it had 7,678 new arrivals and 4,047 settled refugees.
Overall, the report shows that from March-August this year, 8,112 refugees have entered into Lamwo district.
The relief agency said the influx implies that the Lokung collection point in Lamwo district is overstretched by over 500 percent, with only new arrivals who have undergone Level 1 registration, excluding those who are staying along the border or within the host community.
Osborn Oceng, the RDC Lamwo district said UNHCR has requested the host community that gave land hosting the refugees for more land, but the host community is yet to respond.
According to Oceng, at least 200 refugees enter the district daily, as they flee flooding and clashes between armed civilians and security personnel in Ikwoto County in the state of Eastern Equatorial.
Sisto Oyet, the LCV Chairperson Lawmo said the district is willing to offer more land to host the refugees. Oyet disclosed that last year, residents in Lalak Parish in Katum Sub-county offered land measuring 4 square kilometers to host the refugees.
He said although the district leaders made a presentation to OPM on the suitability of the land for hosting refugees, the OPM is yet to carry out an assessment.
Oyet said besides the 4 square kilometers of land, some residents in Palabek Kal and Palabek Gem sub-counties, are also willing to offer land in addition to the chunk they offered earlier.