Uganda’s refugee and ecological crises linked

According to a joint report published by the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the movement of large numbers of South Sudanese across the border into Uganda has caused the degradation of the host country’s land and natural resources.

The report, which was undertaken with the assistance of the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), notes that violence and political instability in South Sudan and the resultant refugee outflow has led to the establishment of some of the largest refugee settlements anywhere in the world. Uganda is “the largest refugee host country in Africa,” states the report, which is entitled Rapid Diagnostic Assessment of Land and Natural Resources Degradation in Areas Impacted by the South Sudan Refugee Influx in Uganda.

Refugees living in Uganda survive by adhering to traditional ways that are heavily dependent on the harvesting of trees. For example, the refugees rely on wood to fuel cook stoves, exacerbating a pre-existing deforestation problem. In fact, the host population relies even more heavily on wood for cooking and income generation, using about 30 per cent more wood per day than the refugees.

Full article: WhigStandard



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