Monday, February 7th, 2022 | By
Residents in five villages along Lake Albert in Hoima district are threatening by looming eviction from community land by investors.
The villages affected are Kaiso, Tonya, Kijangi, Mbegu and Kanda all located in Kabaale Sub County in Hoima district that sit on 107 square kilometres Community Wildlife area.
According to Hassan Kugonza, the chairperson of Kabwoya-Kaiso-Tonya adjacent communities’ wildlife association, three investors have already shown interest to carry out activities on part of the community land.
He identifies some investors as Kaiso-Kembogo Dairy Farming Association, Kaiso-Mbegu Community conservation association and one more interested in giraffe ranching scheme. He notes they all need more than 30 square kilometres of land each.
Kugonza explains that the investors recently held a meeting with the association and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in which they showed them agreements indicating that they have been approved by the local leadership in the areas and the Hoima district leaders.
He adds that the meeting resolved that the investors should have consent from the residents with signatures.
However, the residents say the investors are using the LC1 leadership in the area to hoodwink them into signing the documents of land give away.
Kassim Agaba, a resident of Kaiso village says the area LC1 chairperson is using money-minded people to sign on the documents brought by investors and holding indoor meetings against the will of the residents.
He laments that they have been using the land for firewood, getting materials for houses construction; and in the recent evictions resulting from rising lake water levels people have relocated to other places within the community land.
He wonders where people will go after the land is taken over by investors calling on the government to intervene.
Kugonza, who is also Kabaale sub county chairperson, says the land should remain in the hands of the local communities and wonders how the district authorities gave the investors a go ahead without the consent of the residents.
Allan Kalangi, the Sustainability School Manager at National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) called on the communities to stand up and resist abuse of their rights.