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Bukasa Inland Project: Residents Demand Alternative Land

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Eric Kanyange, another resident notes that he had been given a compensation number with his property valued at Shillings 51 million and has all the documents but he was surprised to find that his name and reference number were missing on the list of people who were due to collect their monies.
A sign post erected at Bukasa Town showing the proposed inland port project

Audio 6

As the long awaited compensation of people occupying land designated for the multimillion Bukasa Inland Port project kicks off, the Project Affected Persons-PAPS are demanding that government offers them alternative land for relocation before they vacate. 

The development of the project has dragged on since 2015 because of contention on the ownership of 500 acres of land earmarked for the project in Bukasa in Kira Municipality. 

It took time and investigations for government to pronounce that the land in question was a gazzeted forest reserve that was illegally encroached. 

However, for the good of the residents, government decided to give the settlers a token to cover their properties. This week, the Works Ministry started validating the over 2870 project affected persons for compensation. 

However, some of the residents say they may not vacate the land even after being compensated because they are still waiting for the land they were promised to relocate too.

The Bukasa LC I Chairperson, John Kaddu notes that during their final meeting with President Yoweri Museveni in statehouse, they accepted to receive compensation for properties excluding land after being promised that government was to offer them alternative land.    

//Cue in: “Emirimu gya government…

 

Cue out…webiyinza okudda.”//

Eric Kanyange, one of the Project Affected Persons, says although they are in support of the project, they can only relocate when they have an area to go as promised by the government. 

He adds that they will not reject the property monies since they are planning to use it in constructing new homes in whatever area they will be allocated to.  

//Cue in: “Ekyamazima tuwagira…

 

Cue out…kati nkalinze.”//  

 

Waiswa Bageya, the Works Ministry Permanent notes that the said the alleged relocation land is unknown to them. He insists that the Ministry is only aware of the agreed property compensation having reached an agreement with the residents that the land in question belongs to government.

Bageya notes that since the residents currently occupying the land are regarded illegal occupants, government could have evicted them without giving them a coin but it was the president who sympathized with them and pledged to compensate them for their property.     

//Cue in: “We had a…

Cue out…this was valued.”//  

 

He says to that effect the ministry with the help of the Chief Government Valuer evaluated the propriety on the land at Shillings 29 billion. Bageya explains that although they have embarked on the compensation program, only Shillings 15 billion is readily available this financial year. 

 

//Cue in: “We managed to…  

Cue out…in the next budget.”//   

In the same development, the compensation has been marred by several challenges as many residents raise red flags of possible fraud. Milly Namuleno, one of the residents notes that a number of their counterparts with big shots behind them, have received huge sums of money yet others are receiving peanuts.       

//Cue in: “We remain just…   

Cue out…you cannot complain.”//   

Eric Kanyange, another resident notes that he had been given a compensation number with his property valued at Shillings 51 million and has all the documents but he was surprised to find that his name and reference number were missing on the list of people who were due to collect their monies.

//Cue in: “kati ngenzekujjawano…  

Cue out…kompulyinga.”//       

Works Ministry officials have asked those with complaints to forward them for consideration. The inland project, which is now behind schedule, is expected to reduce transport costs and expedite distribution and movement of goods along the central and northern corridors.  

According to the Works ministry, the Port will be constructed in phases, with the first phase covering preparation of the Master Plan, Preliminary Design, and construction of start-up infrastructure, Dredging, Pilling and Swamp Surcharging.

The second phase will see the construction of Bukasa Port to a capacity of 2.3 million tons per year, shipyard and floating dock. This will expand to the capacity of 5.2 million tons and the maximum peak of 7.5 million tons at a later stage. The development plan is expected to be completed by 2030.