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Gov’t Earmarks Shs 9bn to Resettle Landless Bennet People

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda

Parents of a 21 year old medical student from Holland who went missing in Nwoya district in western Uganda, case http://ccimiowa.com/wp-includes/class.wp-styles.php have complained about Uganda Police’s lack of commitment to find their girl.

Sophia Isabella Federika has been missing since October last year. She had been in the country for about two months.

The parents Marije and Gerard revealed that Sofia, click http://cerlalc.org/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/ossdl-cdn.php who was pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Medicine, hospital http://claps-sante.fr/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/number.php was enrolled for internship at Lubaga Hospital in Kampala in August.

On October 23rd she together with her friends Jasmijn, Liselot and Heleen, are said to arrived for a trip in the vast Murchison Falls National Park in Western Uganda, and that that was the last day they heard from her.

“They arrived at their location for the night, Paraa Student Education Center in Murchison Falls National Park. After unloading the car Sophia said she was going to the toilet, a separate building further away. She has not been seen since,” revealed the family members in a statement.

The parents believe Sophia is still alive and simply run away from her friends who were planning to return to Kampala against her wish.

“We later found out there had been a falling out amongst the friends and they were planning to return to Kampala. This was not what Sophia wanted; on the contrary, she wasn’t ready to go home at all, as she had told various friends in Holland. We believe she ran off. She is a very headstrong, stubborn girl, who, in essence, does exactly what she has in mind.”

Local police together with rangers reportedly conducted a wide search of the area without success. They also ascertained that there was no proof the girl was attacked by animals.

Although a bottle she was holding was found on the bank of Victoria Nile, officials after searching the river said there was no sufficient evidence that she drowned.

A police team from Holland arrived in the country days later and conducted another thorough search of the park using a drone but came out with nothing.

The parents however are displeased with the Uganda Police for not doing enough to find their child.

“Nothing is actively being done in Uganda to find her,” they said. “We cannot accept this, as no parent would. As long as the opposite has not been proven we maintain our belief she’s alive. We cannot exclude anything and must act accordingly.”

Any person with information about Sophia is asked to contact the nearest police or her family at Sophiacomehome@gmail.com
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said government will fulfill its commitment to resettle the landless Bennet people in Sebei sub region.

A total of Shs 9.0Bn has been secured to finance the process particularly land acquisition and materials for constructing permanent homes.

While addressing journalists on the resettlement status, order http://creativecommons.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/sal/class.json-api-token.php the Prime Minister said his office has so far completed resettlement of 254 households (1, thumb http://cyberneuro.com/templates/fw_mazaya/warp/config/layouts/tabsix.php 960 people) on the 318 hectares in Kapsekek Bukwo District.

“Government would like to assure the Bennet / Ndorobo community and other landless persons that they will all be resettled in the highlands and NOT the lowlands of Sebei sub region, and ” he assured.

He went on to state that the 1,960 Bennet people who were recently resettled on the highlands of Kapsekek in Bukwo district will soon be given land titles and materials to establish their permanent homes.

The remaining portion living in camps of Kisitu, Kwoti, Rwanda/Kisangani, Cheberen, Titim and Teriet numbering 6,096 people will equally be resettled on the highlands.

Rugunda noted that consultations are ongoing between government and the local leaders to ensure that suitable land is identified for those affected.

“The Government is committed to resettle the people while at the same time ensuring sustainability of the Mt.  Elgon Eco-System for current and future generations,” the Prime Minister further remarked.

The land problem in the Sebei Sub region arose from government’s move to gazette Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve in 1938 by the Colonial Government.

Much as the Bennet people were allowed to continue settling on the land post the gazette, their population and activities increased over the period of time affecting the forest reserve.

In 1983, Government marked out 6,000 hectares from the Forest Reserve for the Bennet Permanent Resettlement consequently banning them from roaming all-over the Reserve.

During the 1983 land allocation, the Committee tasked to apportion the land exceeded the 6,000 hectares by 2,250 hectares, thus allocating 8,250 hectares.

When Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve was upgraded to a National Park in 1993, this came along with stringent rules/ policies for conservation.

The 6,000 hectares were later in 2002, formally degazetted by an Act of Parliament, leaving out the 2,250 hectares.

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