Sango Bay refugee camp in Rakai district has finally received food relief from government following several months of serious food shortage at the camp.
At least 6000 Ugandan returnees from Tanzania and refugees at Sango Bay camp had spent more than four months without food items and Sergeant Ronald Kirunda, the in charge of the camp’s general duties, said they last received food supplies from government in February this year
Through the Office of the Prime Minister, government last week delivered 2000 bags of posho and 1000 bags of beans to the camp, but Mr Kirunda said they are supposed to get 3000 bags of posho every month.
“I am grateful that my people have received food relief since February but I have fear that the delivered food may not be enough since government at times delays to deliver more food,” Sgt Kirunda said adding that some households had resorted to skipping some meals because of little food they had waiting for the next distribution by Government.
He also said some of the households were employed to cultivate at nearby villages and instead of being paid cash, they were given food to cater for their families.
Camp authorities revealed to eagleonline that many people especially the minors and elderly fall victim to diseases due to inadequate food supplies.
Elias Byarugaba, the camp chairman, said over 600 children abandoned school last term due to lack of food and resorted to looking for jobs to get food.
Betty Busingye, mother of three said before government delivered the food, she has been struggling to get food for her children by digging outside the camp adding that sometimes she failed to get the food and returned to the camp empty-handed.
Meanwhile, due to the persistent conditions at the camp, new reports emerged that the returnees started stealing sugarcane from Sango Bay sugar plantations for survival.
One Okello who guards the sugarcane plantations, said the camp occupants steal sugarcane mostly at night.
According to him, almost three lorry trucks of sugarcane were being disbursed in the few months they missed food.
Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Aronda Nyakairima last month visited the camp and said government is in the process of relocating the returnees to gazetted camps.
In August 2013, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania expelled over 6000 people for illegal entry into the country and settling in Kagera region and Misenyi district that border Uganda. In response, the government of Uganda decided to resettle the refugees at Sango bay camp where they have stayed for over two and half years.