Radio Apac

Locals cautioned against encroaching Apac Aquaculture project land

27 February 2024, 1:21 pm

By Mike Okwang Ogule & Isaac Newton Abili

Apac Aquaculture project site visit by officials from the Agriculture Ministry and Apac District in 2018.

Residents of Tarogali Parish in Ibuje Sub-County Apac District have been warned against encroaching the Aquaculture project land.

George Abdul, the Apac Resident District Commissioner issued the warning recently during a security meeting in Onekgwok cell, Tarogali Parish Ibuje Sub-County.

Abdul said the land currently belongs to the government since the affected persons were compensated and they can only graze their animals on the land, not tilling it for crop production.

Abdul who warned locals against sabotaging government programs further explained that the Ministry of Agriculture had agreed to construct a dam for those who were not compensated though some locals were led astray by some unscrupulous politicians.

On the other hand, Peter Ocen, one of the local residents of Teboke Village who spoke exclusively to Radio Apac said they are waiting for the rain to start ploughing the land since they were not compensated.

Ceasar Odur, the Lc1 chairperson of Teboke Village, said some locals have agreed not to cultivate the land, adding that others are still protesting despite being warned.

In 2018, residents of Teboke and Onekgwok villages offered 556 acres of land to the government for the establishment of the 44 billion Aquaculture project, funded by European Union. (EU)

However, some residents of the area accused the district leadership of swindling money meant for their compensation and threatened to block works on-site if they did not receive it.

Some local leaders who spoke to Radio Apac confirmed that the affected persons received Shs. 4.1 bn in compensation, although they admit that Shs. 1.1 bn of that money ended up in the wrong hands.

The Shs. 44 bn project, which was being financed by the government of Uganda and the European Union with aims of improving fish production has now stalled and the site been abandoned by the contractor as locals bicker over land compensation, Radio Apac has learnt.

The donner from then withdrew after some local communities around the project continues demanding compensation claiming they were never paid and the land apparently lies idle.