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Ministry to Open Boundaries for Karenga, UWA Dispute

The two are locked in a land row over location of the site for district headquarters that is under construction in Kidepo Town Council. The site is allegedly situated inside part of the 956 square kilometres set aside as Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area, a protected area managed by Ateker Safari LTD, formerly known as Karamoja Safari LTD following an agreement with UWA.


The Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development is due to open up boundaries between Karenga District and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) over a disputed site for the district headquarters.

The two are locked in a land row over location of the site for district headquarters that is under construction in Kidepo Town Council. The site is allegedly situated inside part of the 956 square kilometres set aside as Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area, a protected area managed by Ateker Safari LTD, formerly known as Karamoja Safari LTD following an agreement with UWA.

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) directed Karenga district to halt construction due to the fact that the area is a wildlife management area under Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019.

NEMA also ordered the construction to be stopped because the district did not carry out an environment impact assessment as required under the same act for projects that may have a significant impact on wildlife species or community, which the district authorities have defied.

Although the case is before the Soroti High Court, which issued orders in March 2020 to halt the works, the Karenga district leadership petitioned president Museveni to intervene in the matter.According to Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka, the president directed the ministry of Lands to handle the matter.

Last week, several parties including, Uganda Wildlife authority, NEMA, district officials and a senior staff from the ministry held a meeting at the ministry of Lands Boardroom to try to resolve the matter. However, Karenga district leaders led by the LC 5 Chairperson, Felix Mark Lochaale insist the area in question is part of community land and was given to the district by elders of the area.Wilson Okaro, the Commissioner Services and Mapping at the Ministry of Lands says the only solution to the issue is opening of boundaries where each party will be represented.

"Yes, we shall open the boundaries," said the Commissioner on Monday. "This is the only way to solving boundary disputes. We shall do it at day time, and when all the parties are present. They have to agree on the number of stakeholders and the methodology on how to do the work, otherwise there is no option other than this.”

He could not however commit on when the boundaries would be opened saying the parties have to agree in consultation with the ministry. 

The RDC Karenga, Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka said the parties agreed to open boundaries two in two weeks’ times.

Construction work for district headquarters is near completion with contractor remaining with finishing of the floor, walls and painting. According to Hashaka, over 500 million shillings out of a total budget of 700 million has been spent on construction work so far.

A number of officers are forced to share tiny office rooms while other work under trees.

Karenga District Local Government, was carved out of Kaabong district on July 1st, 2019.  

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