On Wednesday, Bernard Mujjasi, the LC V chairman Mbale district convened a meeting to mobilize residents to offer land for the project.
Residents of Busiu Sub County in Mbale district have rejected a proposal by government to construct a water dam on the bunks of River Manafwa. Early 2011, Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment wrote to Mbale district local government requesting for land along the bunks of River Manafwa to construct a water dam for irrigation.
According to the letter government had secured some funds from World Bank for the water Dam project. The Ministry identified about 1, 000 acres of land stretching from Lukhonje to Busiu Sub County. On Wednesday, Bernard Mujjasi, the LC V chairman Mbale district convened a meeting to mobilize residents to offer land for the project.
Mujasi informed residents about the importance of the project saying it would boast agricultural production in the area and asked them to offer their land. However, the residents would attended the meeting rejected the proposal. They argued that the dam is likely to claim much of their fertile land where they grow their food crops for survival.
The residents vowed not to block the give-away of their ancestral land. Lydia Wamanafwa says the district should allocate to government its own land in case they are in dire need of the project. She threatens to undress in protest should the government tries to take their land by force.
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Nicholas Namasake, another resident says there is no way he can give government the only piece of land his family has been using for survival. He suggests that government takes the project to another area.
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Alfred Namasa, the Busiu sub county councilor says that about 300 families would be affected if residents accept to give their land for the project. He says he had earlier told the district LC V chairperson about the position of the residents on the project.
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Namasa says where as he welcomes the project in the area, government should never try to force people to give their land for such development. Bernard Mujjasi, the district LC V chairperson declines to comment on the matter.
residents decline to give land
government needs land for development project
busiu sub county
ministry of water lands and environment