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Pader Residents Face Eviction for Reportedly Settling in Aswa Ranch

Mwaka says the matter came to the limelight after residents reported to the authorities indicating that a team of officials from Aswa Ranch made an incursion into Tiima village where they are developing part of the land without providing locals and area leaders with adequate notification.

Audio 2

Over 500 households in Laguti Sub County in Pader district face eviction for encroaching on part of the state-owned Aswa ranch land.  

The Sub-county LC III chairperson, Christopher Mwaka Odokonyero, says the most affected are residents of Tima, Kwala, Lapono and Paito villages in Paibwor parish and Kalili, Lagot Oywee, Lakalanganya villages in Lapyem parish.   

Mwaka says the matter came to the limelight after residents reported to the authorities indicating that a team of officials from Aswa Ranch made an incursion into Tiima village where they are developing part of the land without providing locals and area leaders with adequate notification. 

The officials are reportedly constructing grass-thatched houses for herdsmen and extension workers attached to the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) that manages Aswa ranch.

According to Mwaka, despite their attempt to halt any further construction only worsened the situation because the officials insist that the disputed land belongs to the ranch.

Mwaka says further inquiries into the matter discovered that a map presented to them indicating the actual demarcation of the Ranch affects seven other villages in Laguti Sub County and more others in the neighbouring Palabek Gem sub-county in Lamwo district.

//Cue in: “wan kombedi….

Cue out: …..lok enoni”//

Pader Resident District Commissioner, Dusman Okee, says they have averted a crisis by stopping  any further developments on the disputed land until the true land ownership is established. 

Okee however acknowledges the activities of dairy Aswa Ranch management that is engaged in livestock breeding, saying it is an enormous government program meant to boost productivity and eradicate poverty among the populace in Northern Uganda.

//Cue in: “No there’s nobody…

  

Cue out: ….multiplier effect,”//  

Carlo Ojara, one of the affected residents of Kwala village, says their attempts to stop the officials from utilizing the land has not yielded results. Dr. Peter Emmanuel Eriaku, the Senior Farm Manager of Aswa Ranch denies claims that they are continuing with the developments on the land.

Dr. Eriaku says NAGRC&DB is holding a series of stakeholder meetings to address

the concerns of all interested groups to peacefully implement its livestock programs for the benefit of the Acholi Sub-region and Uganda as a whole.

According to Dr. Eriaku, a recent meeting held with Pader District Local Gov't officials resolved to halt all forms of activity on the contested land until the second meeting involving the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Area Members of Parliament

and the local leaders give guidance on the next steps.

Aswa Ranch is among the state-owned ranches where over 2,000 cattle are being bred for the multiplication of improved breeds for distribution to communities in Northern Uganda.