More than 500 Residents of Busiriwa Sub-county in Bududa district
have raised concerns about the lack of land for cultivation as planting season
They argue that Mt Elgon National Park rangers have continued to beat and extort money from them whenever they go to their land to cultivate.
In 1936 the area was gazetted as a public protected area; it
became a central forest reserve in 1968 and a national park in 1992. In
May 2017 the government conducted a survey but there is no report released to
date about the status of the Park.
The residents say they have waited for the report from Lands Ministry
on alleged illegal pillars they planted on the land in 2017 in vain.
Elia Namukowa said he has a family of 11 children but was left
with only half an acre where he cannot cultivate food. Namukowa wonders how he
is going to plant this season after over two acres of his land were curved
inside the forest.
//Cue in: “ Luwendo nga masimikha…
Cue out: … omwana wa
Sam Namondo, another resident says that said he lacks a source of
income since he lacks land were to cultivate crops for selling.
Peter Wamono wants the government to amicably solve the issue
especially during this time when they need to plant.
Tanasi Futsa, claims that some UWA rangers have continued to
mistreat them whenever they go to work in their farms. He adds that they demand
as much as 300,000 Shillings before they are released from custody.
//Cue in: “ Babanu ba befe…
Cue out: …kale bakhuwangasakho bulamu”//.
Wilson Simuya, the LCI Chairperson Shibanga village in Buraba
parish faulted UWA for demarcating the forest without involving the leaders in
//Cue in: “ Nishelelo eshi enge…
Cue out: … indufu niyeli
Fredrick Kiiza the chief warden of Elgon National Park refused to
comment on the matter when contacted.
John Baptist Nambeshe the Manjiya County Member of Parliament,
says that they have written to the ministry of Lands, Planning and Urban Development
and also copied to the President about the matter but there hasn’t been any