02 May

In a significant development for Arua City's infrastructure and healthcare, the South Sudanese Refugee Association (SSURA) has received approval and support from Arua City Authorities to commence multiple construction projects worth 146 million plus. The handover ceremony, held on the 24th of April 2024, marked a pivotal moment in enhancing community resilience and gender responsiveness in West Nile.

The event, was graced by esteemed guests such as the Resident City Commissioner Mr. Charles Ichogor, Member of Parliament Hon. Atima Lee Buti, and City Mayor Hon. Wadri Sam Nyakua, witnessed the formal transfer of construction sites to SSURA for the implementation of transformative initiatives. 

With funding of budget line for the construction of the Trauma Healing Center, Staff Dormitory and One stop Youth Center exceeding 145 million Ugandan shillings, SSURA's endeavors include the establishment of a state of art Trauma Healing Center, renovation of the One Stop Youth Center, and construction of a staff dormitory at Oli Health Center Four.

Funding Body - SDC and Cities Alliance Logos 

The formal handover ceremony, held on April 24th, marked the commencement of construction for several pivotal facilities, including a state-of-the-art Trauma Healing Center (worth over 90 Million Ugx), a staff dormitory at Oli Health Center Four worth 50 million Ugx, and the renovation of the Arua City One Stop Youth Center renovation and facelift (worth 6.2 Million Ugx). 

Attended by key dignitaries, including the Resident City Commissioner, Members of Parliament, and local government officials, the event underscored the collaborative effort to address critical community needs.

Some of the Key Dignitaries Present at the Site Hand Over Ceremony Held at Oli Health center IV

Speaking at the event, Arua City Mayor, Hon. Sam Nyakua, expressed profound appreciation to SSURA for their commitment to bringing essential resources to Arua City. 

He emphasized the importance of the projects, highlighting the Trauma Healing Center as a crucial resource for addressing the rising challenges of substance abuse and mental health issues among the youth.

Arua City Mayor, Hon. Wadri Sam Nyakua, also further expressed profound gratitude to the South Sudanese Refugee Association (SSURA) for their investment in the community, especially in the area of Health and Economic empowerment, as seen in the Cities Alliance-funded project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and cooperation with technical support from the Cities Alliance. 

"He emphasized the significance of the Trauma Healing Center, Staff Dormitory at Oli Health Center Four, and the renovation of the Youth Center, highlighting the importance of such facilities in fostering coexistence between the host and refugee communities."

City Mayor Hon. Wadri Sam Nyakua also further expressed gratitude to South Sudanese Refugee Association - SSURA for the project where Oli Health Center IV is greatly benefiting from pointing to the last donations of the state of art Huma Stat machine among others which have since then increased the capacity of Oli Health Center IV. 

"I am quite sure that with all these donations and facelifts to Oli Health Center IV, we as the leaders of Arua City are doing all it takes to uplift Oli to a City Hospital."

Hon. Wadri Sam Nyakua - Arua City Mayor Speaking  

While speaking to the officials at the handover ceremony, Hon. Atima Lee Jackson, Member of Parliament for Arua Central Division, underscored the importance of collaboration between stakeholders. 

Member of Parliament Arua Central,  Hon. Atima Lee Jackson echoed Mayor Nyakua's sentiments, commending SSURA's commitment to supporting Arua City's development. 

He also appreciated South Sudanese Refugee Association - SSURA for having taken up the initiative to fill the gaps in the health care delivery most especially in Arua City where the Urban refugee population has been tremendously increasing with official figures indicating over 23,000 refugees in Arua city.

"He urged national leaders to actively engage with local needs and called for improved communication to ensure effective allocation of resources."

Hon. Atima Lee Buti Jackson - MP Arua Central Speaking 

The event also saw speeches from key figures such as the City Health Officer, Town Clerk, and representatives from SSURA. 

Representatives from SSURA, including Mrs. Asara Specioza, the Program Development Manager who represented the Executive Director, outlined the scope of the project. 

With a focus on enhancing healthcare services, economic empowerment, and psychosocial well-being, SSURA aims to address the unique challenges faced by refugees and host communities.

In her address, the ED of SSURA, Ms. Asara Speciosa, outlined the comprehensive scope of SSURA's initiatives, emphasizing their focus on enhancing gender-responsive services, economic empowerment, and psychosocial support. 

She highlighted the collaborative nature of the projects, involving multiple partners to address complex community needs effectively. She thanked Arua City and other consortium partners for their collaboration and support.

Mr. Kyasanku David, the City Clerk, commended SSURA and the government for their open-door policy towards refugees, emphasizing the importance of such partnerships in community development.

Town Clerk Mr. Kyasanku David underscored the pivotal role of SSURA in fostering inclusive development, emphasizing the value of their partnership in addressing pressing challenges and advancing communal prosperity.

While handing over the Sites, the Chief Guest, Resident City Commissioner Arua City - Mr. Charles Ichogor thanked South Sudanese Refugee Association - SSURA for the great strides in health interventions in the city.

Chief Guest RCC - Arua City, Mr. Charles Ichogor Ground Breaking the Site

Mr. Amandu Alfred, representing the City Health Officer, emphasized the urgency of addressing healthcare disparities and lauded SSURA's efforts in bolstering medical services. He stressed the need for collaborative oversight to ensure the success of ongoing projects and maximize their impact on community well-being.

Senior Nursing Officer Mrs. Monica - Senior Nursing officer, representing In charge Oli Health Center Four, expressed appreciation for the upcoming construction projects. She emphasized the impact these facilities would have on addressing social problems and gender-based violence in the community.

The event also witnessed commitments from local leaders to provide oversight and support throughout the construction phase. With contractors awarded for various components of the project, including Agavan for the Trauma Healing Center and Multitex for the Youth Center, there is a shared determination to ensure quality and timely completion.

The event concluded with assurances of continued collaboration between SSURA, Arua City Authorities, and other stakeholders in realizing the shared vision of community resilience and well-being. As construction commences on these transformative projects, the people of Arua City can look forward to a brighter future marked by enhanced healthcare services and socio-economic empowerment.

The handover ceremony not only marks the beginning of physical construction but also symbolizes a collaborative effort towards building resilience and fostering inclusivity in Arua City. As work progresses on these vital projects, the community eagerly anticipates the positive transformations they will bring to healthcare, youth engagement, and social well-being.

Author: Aldo Adomati, -Communications, SSURA
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