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UWA to Relocate Households Settled Inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UWA to Relocate Households Settled Inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve

John Makombo, the Director of Conservation at the Uganda Wildlife Authority explains that they have already assessed the affected area and held various meetings with the affected households.
Some of the affected families settled inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve in Madi Okollo district during a recent meeting with UWA officials

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The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is set to relocate 11 households who settled inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve in Madi Okollo district.

The households that have come to be known as “The Degia Community” are found in Degia village, Olali Parish, Ogoko sub-county. According to information obtained from the local leaders in the area, the affected households were already settled in their current area before Ajai Wildlife Reserve was gazetted in 1965.

John Makombo, the Director of Conservation at the Uganda Wildlife Authority explains that they have already assessed the affected area and held various meetings with the affected households to facilitate the commencement of surveying of pieces of land for the individual households.

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Makombo further notes that after the dissemination and acceptance of the survey report, they will engage a Land and property valuer to access and value the property of the affected persons before the commencement of compensation and resettlement.

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Previous attempts by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to relocate the affected families to mile 34 along the Wadelia-Ogoko road were unsuccessful after the affected households refused the proposed area on account that the identified land was occupied by Luo-speaking people and this would dilute their culture.

The Madi Okollo District Speaker Faima Letiru, said there is a need for UWA to closely engage with the affected community.

She further notes that as the district council, they welcome the move by UWA to restock the reserve, but the land of the affected people should not be taken forcefully.

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The move to relocate the 11 households settled inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve comes at the time when the authority announced plans to restore the reserve with White Rhinos and other animal species in a bid to promote tourism development in the West Nile region.

Ajai Wildlife Reserve, which is named after Chief Ajai, was declared a game sanctuary in 1937. The sanctuary was later gazetted as a Game reserve under the game department in 1965 by Statutory Instrument No. 147 of 1965. The reserve gained world attention when Theodore Roosevelt, the former American president visited in 1910 on a hunting expedition.

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