The chairpersons include Kenneth Okot of Atiak Town Council, Samuel AKera of Atiak Sub County, and Peter Lukwiya of Opara Sub County. They were arrested by the police on Friday on allegations of arson and malicious damage, following an operation they conducted against illegal charcoal dealers in the area.
They are accused of torching seven makeshift huts, burning 240 bags of stacked charcoal and hundreds of heaps of piled charcoal logs, killing poultry, damaging two solar panels and clothes belonging to Michael Okema Opilo the former Chairperson for Elegu Town council.
The operation which was conducted at Ogom Raa and Tee-Got parishes in Okidi Village was led by the Environmental Police Protection Unit. Hundreds of temporary structures, piles of logs for burning, and kilns of already burning charcoal were destroyed.
Although average global temperatures were temporarily cooled by the 2020-2022 La Niña events, 2021 was still one of the seven warmest years on record, according to six leading international datasets consolidated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
UNMA Executive Officer Dr David Elweru, says that the current rains are a result of the strengthening of Southern Pressure Systems whose orientation shifted the rainfall belt over the country consequently leading to the observed rainfall events.
Vincent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LC 5 Vice Chairperson told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that they halted the exercise due to the failure by the NFA and ministry of lands to engage local leaders, area residents, and a private surveyor on behalf of the local community during the demarcation exercise.
The officials led by the Minister of State for Water and Environment, Aisha Ssekindi made the call on Monday while appearing before Parliament’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee to discuss the Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2022/2023.
Reports indicate that an estimated 100 residents surrounded the animals of Willis Morokole in an attempt to drive them out of the sub-county following the expiry of the January 10th, 2022 deadline issued to the Balalo to vacate the district.
“The masons managed to scare off a few of our community members who had arrived at the scene much earlier on and by the time the rest of us were mobilized through the village Whatsapp group, two trees had been cut down,” she said.
Joel Pogsho, another pastoralist says that they feared losing their animals if they didn’t out of Karamoja in search of grass and water. "Our home district has dried up we don't have water, no grass, and our animals are beginning to die," he said.
According to Komakech, the wildfire suspected to have originated from the neighboring villages razed down the grass-thatched huts leaving their occupants in the cold. He, however, says that no cases of injuries or death have been reported connecting to the fire.
James Ntulume, the Chief Executive Director of Snakes Uganda disclosed that some of the disappearing snake species include Great Lakes Bush Viper, Rough-scaled Bush Viper, Rhinoceros Viper, Goldlites Cobra, and Spitting Cobra among others.