But in their sensitization, the soldiers sometimes fail to answer technical questions from the communities whose members are eager to know what the aerial survey will bring to their tables. The communities ask of their entitlements in the mining sector and why the planes are flying at lower altitude.
Stakeholders in the potential exploitation of Karamoja's mineral wealth have left the sensitization of the communities on the ongoing aerial survey to the army.
Since the launch of the Karamoja aerial survey last month in
Moroto where all stakeholders were invited to help in sensitization drives, only
the army is seen on the ground. They hold radio talk shows, engage communities
and their local leaders on the ongoing activities.
But in their sensitization, the soldiers sometimes fail to
answer technical questions from the communities that are eager to know what the
aerial survey will bring to their tables. The communities ask of their
entitlements in the mining sector and why the planes are flying at lower
Maria Lokut, a resident of Nadunget sub county in Moroto
district wonders how the soldiers can take lead in sensitization programs of an
aerial survey when the technical people at the ministry and the district watch
at a distance.
“The aerial survey is not only a security matter for
soldiers to handle but would be an opportunity for the locals in the regions to
understand what minerals would possibly be lying underground,” she said.
Brig. Joseph Balukudembe, the 3rd Division
Commander says while they were tasked to provide security for the aerial
survey, the situation on the ground has forced them to sensitize the
// cue in “We normally…
Cue out…they are doing that”//
Emmanuel Lokii, the district male youth councilor says in
Moroto says they cannot sensitize the communities without facilitation. Lokii,
like the majority of the leaders wants money to be able to reach out to his
community about the aerial survey.
// cue in “People are not aware…
Cue out…to this exercise”//
Gerald Eneku, the Regional Mines Inspector said that they
have engaged all stakeholders to help in the sensitization of the communities
about the ongoing aerial survey activities. He, however, notes that some of the
stakeholders are asking for money to enable them talk to the communities.
“It’s mostly the army doing sensitization but local leaders
and technical people want allowances to do the exercise”, he said.
When asked whether government put aside funds for
sensitization, Eneku was reluctant to respond.
Ambrose Lotuke, the Kotido District Chairperson says they expected
to be supported by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to carry out
sensitization but there is no response. He explains that whereas some of the
members of the community have heard about the aerial survey, others are still
in the dark.
// cue in “We expected to be…
Cue out…hands are tied”//
The plane was expected in Amudat district on Tuesday but
according to Betty Chalain, the district vice chairperson, she has not seen
anything. The plane has so far carried out aerial surveys in areas of Sebei, Bugisu
and Bukedea in Teso Sub Region, according to Eneku.
Karamoja was left out during the country's aerial survey earlier because
of insecurity at the time. In the ongoing aerial survey, parts of the
neighbouring districts in Sebei, Bugisu, Teso, Lango and Acholi have been
included.While in Bukedea, the plane caused anxiety among members of
the community, something that halted the activity to allow sensitization of the