On Tuesday, the residents led by the Ayivu East MP-elect, Geoffrey Feta, delivered a petition to the National Forest Authority-NFA Range Manager for West Nile demanding immediate cancellation of the lease offer of 10 hectares.
Imvepi Refugee Settlement in Arua district, which had been selected to host the celebrations this year, has since announced that the event will be held virtually, with minimal practical activities in the settlement and communities in the district. The day this year will be celebrated under the theme “Environmental protection and innovation for better animal and human health,”
The Conservationist, Mustafa Gerima, started his journey in Kampala two weeks ago and endured extreme weather through the jungles and national parks along the route. He made nightlong stopovers at Bombo, Katuggo, Migyera, Kafu, Kigumba, Bweyale, Karuma, Pakwach and Nebbi, before arriving at his destination, Arua.
The president believes that many Ugandans do not use their abundant land and labour to create wealth. He was closing a two-day West Nile Investment Symposium which ended last evening at Muni University in Arua district.
The land has been under controversy since 2010 when it was first occupied by Gen Salim Saleh, the then Commander of Reserve Forces. Gen Saleh had reportedly occupied the land upon securing a temporary occupational permit from the National Forestry Authority –NFA to carry out eco-friendly activities in the forest.
The pilot project being undertaken by the Physical Planning Department is expected to cost more than 50 Million shillings under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) Program.
The decision to degazette Barifa Forrest was endorsed by the Municipal Council in late 2000 following recommendation from the physical planning department to expand Arua town. The plan was proposed to be implemented on the 700-acre Barifa land, a central forest reserve on the town’s eastern outskirt.
Arua district Tourism officer Rebecca Agani says that the district will use the occasion to demand from government the reinstatement of the White Rhinos in Ajai Game reserve where they lived in the late 1970s before they were wiped out during the 1979 war.
Norah Fathum, the Principal Health Inspector Arua Municipality, says the problem of hygiene in Ozua cells and others in River Oli division is hard to eliminate since their unhealthy lifestyle is embedded in the minds of the communities.
Its a common annual practice by hunters and farmers in the region to set bushes on fire and burning vast lands whenever the dry season sets in. The districts of Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, Pakwach, Zombo and Counties of Terego, Madi Okollo in Arua district are the most affected by wild bush fires during the dry season.
River Enyau, the only water body that serves Arua Town, suffers from an acute fall in water levels annually especially during the dry season from January to April. But Badru Wandwasi, the NWSC Arua Area Manager says that water quality in river Enyau has been greatly interfered with by encroachers on the banks leading to high costs of water purification.
Police also say a pickup truck from Ofua refugee camp in Rhino camp is also said to have been swept off together with four people on board as it also tried to cross River Enyau on Monday to Omugo camp.