Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday urged the United Nations to support the country’s environmental protection efforts by providing refugees with alternative means of energy for cooking instead of wood fuel.
Museveni made the appeal while meeting with outgoing UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative Joel Boutroue, according to a State House statement.
Experts say the over 1.5 million refugees in Uganda are exerting pressure on the environment in areas where they are hosted. Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the third in the world after Turkey and Colombia, according to UNHCR figures.
“Refugees are our people. Our tribes are the same. There is no way we can discriminate against them. We however need support to deal with the relief and other logistics including protecting the environment,” Museveni said.
Boutroue described Uganda’s relatively inclusive refugee policy as exemplary and called for more attention and support from the United Nations to this country.