100 residents of Onekgwok and Teboke Villages in Tarogali parish in Ibuje Sub
County in Apac are accusing the District leadership of swindling money meant
for their compensation.
In 2018, residents surrendered measuring 556 acres of land to pave way for the
implementation of the Shillings 40billion European Union Aqua Culture Project
by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries. Over 85% of the
residents were compensated Shillings 4 billion.
some of the residents didn’t receive compensation to vacate the land for the
implementation of the project, which will comprise a fish feeds and processing
factory is expected to create more than 500 jobs for youths in the area.
The affected residents
are demanding compensation worth Shillings 100.4M.
They have threatened to march to the president’s office seeking his
intervention and also block the project until they are compensated. Peter James
Ocen, the Chairperson of the Project Affected Persons alleges that the
signatories to the bank appointed by the Resident Commissioner’s Office
withdrew their compensation money and shared it with some district officials.
their pleas to the local authorities to ensure they are compensated have fallen
on deaf ears. Judith Okello, 38, a widow says her land was valued at Shillings 28M
but she was only paid Shillings 10M. “I have orphans am taking care of. If am
not paid fully am not going to accept that money and will continue cultivating
my land,” she said.
Jacob Odur, a 23-year-old orphan and resident of
Teboke village, says he was born on the land in question, saying that he has
nowhere to go unless he is compensated. The Apac District Speaker, Peter Obong
Acuda, says the matter is under investigations, saying the district council
will take appropriate once the investigations are complete.
He however, doubts if the committee will do its
work and deliver on time considering the time frame. Wilfred Mega, the Apac
District Fisheries Officer describes the project as a great opportunity that
will improve the household incomes of residents, saying the concerns of the
project affected persons will be resolved expeditiously.