The disputed land in question measures about 60 square miles which stretches and covers parts of Lagoro and Lalano Sub Counties in Kitgum district, Wol in Agago district, and Latanya in Pader district.
Through the initiative, farmers in Kitgum received at least 388,557 citrus trees and 179,938 mango seedlings between 2015 and 2020. However, Lt. Col. Charles Bokello Odur, the Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation in the district told URN that the seedlings were burnt by bush fires, especially during the dry season.
The planned registration according to the leaders seeks to protect local farmers in the district from harmful exploitation by middlemen who buy cheaply and resale the produces at abnormally high prices.
The Orom East Sub-County LC III Chairperson, Bruno Nelson told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the deceased was gunned down between Akurumo and Pire junction while fleeing with a stolen cow together with two others.
According to Maj. Terimulungi, the deployment is not only meant to repulse the stray elephants as a way of protecting the most vulnerable citizens from losing their crops, lives and property to wildlife but also to protect and conserve the endangered wildlife.
The forceful eviction follows the expiry of an ultimatum issued by both the sub-county leaders and the district security to the pastoralists also known as balalo to vacate the sub-county by October 1st.
The pastoralist had settled in Pinymunu village in Pajimo Parish after their arrival with 35 heads of cattle for fattening from Ngora District on September 12 this year.
Johnson Odera Acellam, the Orom Sub County LC III Chairperson says that despite UWA’s recruitment of community scouts in the area as part of the strategy to manage problem animals to their dismay there has been limited response.
Samuel Amanya, the Chief Warden at Kidepo Valley National Park, says that they are proposing to start sensitizing locals on taking non-food crops cultivation around conservation areas to avoid encountering losses to elephants.
Kidega says immediate inquiries revealed that the animals were brought in the area courtesy of a local resident identified as Livingstone Oketa who invited the pastoralists on a verbal agreement with the cattle keepers who would also herd his animals along theirs.
Jacob Onen, a resident of Opete Village in Labongo Amida Sub-county, says that the strange disease started around 2014 but notes that he didn’t pay attention to it until this year when he realized it could be a disease.
More than 300 acres of crop gardens have been destroyed since June following persistent elephant incursions in the villages of Lotor, Wipol, Akadojwat, Lamingonen, Umgot, Tikao, and Toboi in Gule Parish. Other farmlands were destroyed by the elephants in Lungayura and Lolwa Parishes.
More than 200 acres of maize, groundnuts, finger millets, soya beans, sunflower, and potato gardens have already been destroyed by the wild animals in the villages of Lotor, Wipol, Akadojwat, Lamingonen, Umgot, Tikao, and Toboi in Gule Parish.
According to Komakech, the arrest follows reports from the local community members after observing the duo selling fresh fish in the villages before alerting the authorities who swung into action and arrested them.