According to Bhoka, the district has been battling a measles outbreak since February this year. The most affected areas include Itirikwa Sub County, which hosts the disputed Apaa Township.
The others are Ofua and Pakele sub counties and Adjumani town council.
Violent conflicts in Apaa
Township, which is at the center of a dispute between Adjumani and Amuru district,
have crippled health service delivery in the area.
George Bhoka, the Adjumani District Health Officer, says the
Apaa community has rejected a mobile measles vaccination exercise.
residents stopped district health teams from erecting tents for the mobile
clinics, saying it is a ploy to grab or demarcate their land.
According to Bhoka, the district has been battling a measles outbreak
since February this year. The most
affected areas include Itirikwa Sub County, which hosts the disputed Apaa Township.
The others are Ofua and Pakele sub counties and Adjumani town
council. He however, says no child has
been vaccinated in Apaa in the on-going mobile vaccination drive because of
resistance from the community.
Similarly, Apollo Okello, the Amuru District Health
Secretary, says they received over 15 cases of measles but their health teams
can’t access the disputed area for fear of armed conflicts.
He says health services grounded to a halt in
the area since Apaa Health Centre II was conflict in September 2018 because of conflicts
between residents and Uganda Wildlife Authority over land.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru District Chairperson describes the
situation in Apaa as pathetic because the communities can neither access health
nor education services.
//Cue in: Apaa Health Centre…
Cue out: …attacked by Measles //
Sylvester Odoki, one of the leaders in Apaa, says residents
trek over 40 Kilometers to Pabbo Health Centre III in Pabbo Sub County to
access health services.
He however, notes that children, women and elderly people can’t
move such long distances and end abandoning health services.
the Amuru District Health Officer-DHO, says they are vaccinating children
against measles in Amuru but not Apaa Township.
Apaa Township borders Adjumani and Amuru district. Both the Madi community in Adjumani and Acholi
in Amuru claim ownership of the area.
UWA also claims that the area is in East
Madi Wildlife reserve. The conflict is characterised by destruction of homes, looting,
killings and human rights abuses since 2012.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc