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Land Conflict Paralyses Agriculture in Apaa Township :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Land Conflict Paralyses Agriculture in Apaa Township

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The residents claim the area was gazetted into a game reserve while they were in Internally Displaced Camps during the rebel Lord`s Resistance Army-LRA insurgency.
Amuru District Woman MP Lucy Akello recently adressing residents of Apaa

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The tension between residents and Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA in Apaa Township because of the boundary dispute has stalled cultivation. 

Apaa Township is home to 26,864 people whose major source of livelihood is agriculture.  

The communities are feuding with UWA over more than 40 square kilometers of land. 

While the residents insist the disputed land belongs to them, UWA claims the land is part of East Madi Game Reserve.

  The residents claim the area was gazetted into a game reserve while they were in Internally Displaced Camps during the rebel Lord`s Resistance Army-LRA insurgency.

  Because of the dispute residents have failed to open land for cultivation leading to fears of food security. 

62-year-old Bicentina Lacaa, one of the residents, says she didn’t open her garden for farming this season for fear of being attacked by UWA rangers roaming the area. 

The mother of six says farming is her only source of livelihood but she is now stuck. 

According to Lacaa, she would previously start preparing the garden in February in preparation for planting but she hasn’t been able to do so in the last three years.  

Justine Okene, the General Secretary Apaa Trading center, says all residents have been warned to cultivate the land at their own risk because they are not allowed by security.

 

//Cue in: ‘’during cultivation they…

Cue out: …should go ahead.’’//

 

Ogik Save, the former area councilor and member of the Apaa Religious Peace Initiative-ARLPI asks UWA to stop traumatizing residents and allow the President and parliamentary Committee conclude their finding. 

Ogik is the coordinator of the Committee set up by President Yoweri Museveni to investigate the conflict. According to Ogik, residents are so fearful to go to their gardens to dig because soldiers are seen roaming the area at all times.

 

//Cue in: ‘’am also appealing…

Cue out: …nowhere to stay.’’//

 

Tonny Bonny Olinga, the Warden In-charge of East Madi Game Reserve maintains that Apaa is in a protected area and no human activities are allowed there.

James Leku, the Adjumani LC V Chairperson concurs with UWA that the area in a protected area adding it is reasons why the council also relocated its market to Juka, which is gazetted for human activities.    

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