Now, Kitgum town council has identified land in Lemu parish to relocate the airstrip and want it to become operational.
Some councilors in Kitgum town council are demanding the reopening of the airstrip that was closed in 2009. Civil Aviation Authority-CAA closed Kitgum airstrip after residents started using its run way to dry their produce and graze animals. Now, Kitgum town council has identified land in Lemu parish to relocate the airstrip and want it to become operational.
The 2km land extends up to Akwang sub-county. Miltonic Kilama, the councilor for Guu Parish in Kitgum town council says it is high time they pushed for the airstrip to be reopened. He says that matter was discussed in the previous council and a committee put in place to address the issue but nothing has been done.
Kilama says that the airstrip played a key role of connecting Kitgum to the rest of the country, adding that at the height of insurgency many agencies including NGO’s were using it. He says that with the poor road network, the airstrip would offer a better transport alternative.
//Cue in: “in the last government we…”
Cue out: “…of Kitgum airstrip”//
He also appeals to residents of Lemu, not to make exorbitant demands in exchange for their land. Some of the affected residents are demanding that council gives them the land that hosted the previous airstrip in exchange for their land. Other councilors believe reopening the airstrip would also boost business with their southern Sudanese neighbors.
But Richard Ojara Okwera, the LC III chairman Kitgum town council is treading cautiously on the demand to reopen the airstrip. Ojara says that Kitgum town council is seen as a sub county and cannot on its own succeed in demanding for the reopening of the airstrip.
Ojara says they will need to engage the district leadership that has more powers to push their demand to have the airstrip reopened. He also says that town council is short of money to buy the proposed land, saying that they can only swap the land with residents.
//Cue in: “the debate of the airfield is interesting…….
Cue out: “…but this is a Kitgum district airfield”
He says through the district, he will also engage international NGO’s and aid agencies to lobby for the reopening and reconstruction of the airstrip
kitgum town council