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.
William Latim Alex, the headteacher of the school, says that the renovation of the 4-classroom block will cost Shillings 99.5 million while the 2-classroom block will cost them Shillings 50 million, according to the quotation they received.
In a letter dated 27th September this year, Otto claims that in July this year, he gave the Town Council the money to construct the road to his tourism site, to improve access to social services and open opportunities for other tourism investors, but that the road was never opened due to "bad local politics, irredentism and negative attitudes" among others.
Mahmood Abdi, the Director of Agriculture and Plantation, Attiak Sugar Factory which sits along River Unyama says that they intend to construct irrigation schemes and water dams along the river to mitigate flooding in Elegu Township and the factory as well as to secure water for the factory`s sugarcane plantation in all seasons.
In Paibona Sub County in Gulu district, Richard Watmon the LC3 Chairperson told URN that more than 100 herdsmen who are non-natives of the area have pitched camp in Ayweri, Akoo, Tugu Lwala purportedly to graze cattle.
Xavier Sekanabo from the Environmental Police Protection Unit who led the operation said that they have no mercy for the charcoal dealers because they are depleting the environment and indiscriminately destroying the endangered tree species including Afzelia Africana, shea and mahogany among others.
She told URN that she has been in the business for only three months following a connection with a friend and has never cut trees or burnt charcoal but been buying in small scale.
Xavier Sekanabo told URN that the dealers who are from as far as Central, Western and Eastern Uganda didn’t any documents authorisation to trade or transport forest species. He disclosed that the suspects are detained in Gulu and Amuru Central Police Stations
Michael Lakony, the Amuru District Chairman says they revamped the operation on the illegal charcoal business after the perpetrators infiltrated Wii-Ceri Forest Reserve and other areas in Amuru like Lakang, Pogo, Apaa and Okidi.
Unlike in the previous years, farmers in Acholi Sub Region would start opening their farmlands between the months of late January and March ready for the first planting seasons which starts by mid-March every year.
But this year, the majority of farmers in the region have not started ploughing their farmlands and preparations for this year`s planting season citing projected aridity.
The Apaa Bridge connects major roads that link Pabbo Sub-County to River Nile landing site; Puno-Dyang, Acholiber, Amuru Town Council, Layima, Pailyec in Amuru and neighboring Opuwa and Itirikwa Sub-Counties in Adjumani.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru District Chairman told URN in an interview that upon signing the MOU with the Ministry of Trade, a team of Engineers was dispatched to Elegu to carry out a feasibility study to pave way for the constructions but to date, nothing has been done.