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Radio Emmanuel
Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 12:07
At least eighty-one returnees are reported to have returned home in Ikwoto County escaping hunger and severe malnutrition in Uganda and Kenya, says activist.
 
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization or CEPO enumerator Rebecca Deyia says the returnees raised concerns that their food ratios were reduced from one hundred to fifty percent.
 
The returnees told Radio Emmanuel that the food ratios were not enough to sustain their families.
 
Deiya says besides cut of food ratio, most youth complain of unemployment and high cost of living, forcing many people to return home.
 
“Around 77 in total both females and males let me tell you in summary of the population that has come back, women ten, men ten, children thirty seven elders 24 a total of 81. We are moving from home to home and we drag these households we also use if there are meetings for returnees then we also find those who are not yet registered then we shall register them”, she explained. 
 
“The common complain they say that let them to return is cut of food ratio and even lack of job opportunities that made them to come back and also crisis. They cannot afford buying things from the market and most of it is sickness most children are malnourish”, says Deiya.
 
Helen Aya, mother of five children who returned home, says shortage of food and poor health conditions prompted their return.
 
Speaking in her native language, Aya vowed not to return to the camp when situation improves.
 
“my name is Hellen I just arrived these days, my child was sick for about three months that forced me to come home to receive treatment and worse of all there is severe hunger there in the camp. People there are really suffering from hunger, we are given little food after some good months, so what can we do, we have to survive with that little food, we have no option but just to come home, according to me when the sickness improves I will go back again to the camp”.
 
Another returnee Teresa Iwamo, a mother to three, appeals to people of goodwill to intervene in rescuing their situation in the area.
 
“The road is good only we are faced by high transport fare and more so there is severe sickness there with heavy rainfall, I came because of the sickness of my children that is forcing us to come from the camps, we went there to the camp because of the crisis in the Country and we were well received, am praying hard that when children are recovered so that I can join my families and am calling on people of goodwill to help us with this alarming situation that we are in”, she notes.
 
John Odongi, Torit State Relief and Rehabilitation Coordinator confirm that about ten households arrive in Ikwoto on daily basis from the neighbouring camps of Uganda and Kenya.
 
He admits that the situation of the returning population is desperate, calling on partners to intervene in rendering lifesaving assistance
 
“In fact concerning the population movement in Ikotos, we do receive people on daily basis an average of 10 households per a day in Ikotos town and they are on transit to their various locations within Ikotos County, the situation of returnees of course is quiet desperate because they came back home without anything like food, that is a voluntary return is not organized return”, Odongi says. 
 
"Usually what UNHCR is doing when it is organize return they have to give lifesaving packages three months ratio and a companied by none food items, this is a voluntary return they don’t come with anything completely they are just being received by their host community and they are being supported by the host community”, he explains.
 
The coordinator says four children are reported to have died of malnutrition before and after reaching Ikwoto County.
 
Earlier this week coordinator Torit State disclosed that the food ratios in all camps of Uganda and Kenya have been cut from to fifty percent.
 
The speakers made their statement to Radio Emmanuel in a telephone interview on Thursday.
 

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