The impact of the refugees on environment in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Hoima District
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The study is on the impact of refugee influx on the environment in Kyangwali refugee settlement and it was qualitative and library based; the main sources included primary and secondary data. The study found that the local population of Kyangwali community was evicted from the Land considered to belong to Kyangwali Refugee Settlement and on estimate over 60,000 locals were forced to leave land for refugee settlement as a result, people became homeless, lost property, animals and poultry thus becoming squatters on their own land. The encroachment on Bugoma forest reserve is rampant in the area as refugees and local population cut down trees for firewood, energy and construction materials however the Ugandan government has provided a framework to harmonize refugees in the local economy through protecting their status, human rights and freedoms by recognition in laws of the country. Environmental protection in refugee settlements, partnerships between the international community, UNHCR and the Ugandan government are underway to ensure alternative source of energy is provided to protect the environment like afforestation of Bugoma forest reserve by Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and FAO, provision of water energy and other humanitarian assistance to conserve the environment. Infrastructural development has taken place in the area; school was constructed where both children of the local population and refugees access to attain education and career development. The recommendations included review on the government policy on the allocation of land to the refugees so as to reduce land wrangles and evictions in the refugee settlement. The government should partner with the international community, UNHCR through policies, programmes and projects to target youth employment in the local economy. Interventions are recommended in the conflicts of the neighboring countries to create peace and unity in their economies. The government should ensure environmental protection and conservation through advocacy for renewable energy alternatives to reduce the threat on the natural forest for energy provision.