AMURU: Amuru District is in the spotlight over numerous land disputes that have over the years pitted residents and their local leaders against the government over alleged land grabbing.
Multibillion investors majorly targeting to invest in agriculture have been rejected by residents and political leaders in the past years and in some instances, this has led to violent clashes.
The residents claim the government, in its bid to develop the district through attracting investors, wants to grab their land.
But in a bid to provide platforms for massive community awareness on land rights, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in partnership with Participatory Ecological Land Use Management [PELUM] and various stakeholders, has organised a one week land awareness drive in the district. This year’s land awareness week, theme is: ‘Together we protect our land’, that runs until Friday, was flagged off by the Amuru Resident District commissioner, Mr Bilak Jalmoro on Monday at the Amuru Sub-county headquarters.
Lands minister Betty Amongi is expected to preside over the launch of the national event on Friday at Amuru Sub-county headquarters.
Flagging off the land awareness week, Mr Jalmoro acknowledged the rampant land dispute in the district and attributed it to the limited knowledge locals have on land use.
Mr Jalmoro said only 44 to 48 per cent of land in the district is being put into active use for agriculture while the rest of the land is idle.
He encouraged residents to use their land to improve on their socio-economic welfare.
Mr Moses Onen, programme officer land rights at PELUM, told Daily Monitor in an interview on Monday that the land awareness week will target 12 villages in Amuru Sub-county where land disputes have been registered over the years.
Mr Onen said stakeholders will hold sensitisation meetings for four days with residents in Atoro, Lajalula, Layima, Bana, Mutema, Layamo, and Labongo ogali, Apaa, Kololo and Lakang among others.
He said the initiative will raise awareness of smallholder farmers and grassroot organisations on land rights, land laws and collective advocacy to enhance their effective engagements in land governance and land administration.