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Government Makes Final Move to Resettle Landless Ndorobo

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda speaks to displaced Ndorobo people in Bukwo on Thursday.

Government is making a final move to resettle displaced Ndorobo and Benet people in Sebei region, doctor http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints.php bringing to an end the plight of over 8000 vulnerable people who were evicted from Mt Elgon National Park.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, case accompanied by tourism minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu and disaster preparedness state minister Musa Ecweru, cheap area Members of Parliament and district leaders on Thursday 9th Februray, visited the affected communities in Kween and Bukwo districts and assured them of Government commitment to find them land.

The Prime Minister announced the creation of a taskforce comprising the ministry of tourism, lands, disaster management, finance, and the local leadership in Bukwo and Kween districts to conduct a biometric verification exercise of the genuine victims of displacement and advise on the best course of action.

“Government is committed to finding a lasting, fair, just and sustainable resettlement of all genuine displaced people here,” Prime Minister Rugunda told a gathering at Kapsekek village in Bukwo.

The Ndorobos were traditionally forest dwellers, marginalised by the larger Sabiny, who in 1983, were forced out Mt Elgon, after the area was gazetted a forest reserve. They were allocated 6000 hectares for resettlement. However, Kapchorwa District officials who were charged with the responsibility of handling the resettlement, allocated the land to themselves, their friends and relatives, leaving the deserving Ndorobo languishing and landless.

In 1989, Mt Elgon Forest Reserve was ugraded into a National Park, and the Ndorobo were banned from using the park land to graze cattle and search for food. This worsened their already dire situation.

In 2011, following several appeals, President Yoweri Museveni directed that a certain portion of the National Park, known as London, be de-gazetted to permanently resettle the Ndorobo.

On realising the fragility of this particular London portion, Uganda Wildlife Authority instead released 318 hectares of parkland in an area called Kapsekek Parish of Bukwo District to implement the President’s directive.

Sadly, even this newly released 318 hectares of land was grabbed by the local district leadership and distributed amongst friends, relatives and some sold to business people, leaving the Ndorobo landless once again.

In 2014, Government mandated the Office of the Prime Minister to drive the resettlement of these people, including recovering land that was illegally allocated by the local leadership. The process has since 2015 been marred by bickerings and resistance from the leaderships of the two districts—Bukwo and Kween.

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