Katakwi Residents Demand Eviction of Karimojong Herdsmen

1718 Views Katakwi, Uganda

In short
The herdsmen mainly from Napak, Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts in Karamoja sub region came into Katakwi in search of water and pasture for their livestock. They reportedly traveled with an estimated 2000 head of cattle and settled in the villages at the border of Katakwi and Karamoja sub region.

Residents of Katakwi district are calling for the eviction of hundreds of Karimojong herdsmen who invaded the area about two months ago.

The herdsmen mainly from Napak, Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts in Karamoja sub region came into Katakwi in search of water and pasture for their livestock.  They reportedly traveled with an estimated 2000 head of cattle and settled in the villages at the border of Katakwi and Karamoja sub region.

John Peter Emoruoit, a resident of Ongongoja Sub County in Katakwi district says the entry of Karimojong herdsmen has worsened an already volatile situation in Teso sub region where residents were equally struggling to find pasture for their animals.

Emoruoit warns of possible clashes if the herdsmen are not evicted.
 
//Cue in: "Karimojong started entering...
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He adds that the herdsmen have come with large numbers of cattle causing stiff competition for already dwindling pastures and water sources.
 
//Cue in: "make it worse…
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Julius Epuut, a resident of Odoot Parish, Ngariam Sub County fears that the little swampy areas may soon run dry adding that pastoralists within Katakwi are already struggling to feed their animals. Epuut adds that some farmers are now feeding animals on leaves.

Charles Joel Otworot, the parish chief in Ongongoja Sub County urged government to rehabilitate valley dams in the area that are currently filled with sand and mud.
 
 //Cue in: "There is scarcity …
Cue out: … we are going to lose it."//
 
Katakwi district Chairman Walter Elakas Okiring is equally bitter on the invasion by the herdsmen.

"Our water has always been enough for the people throughout the drought season but due to the invasion of these herdsmen we have started experiencing a water crisis." Okiring said.

Okiring adds that they intend to summon counterparts in Karamoja to discuss the matter.
 
A similar situation is happening in Lango where more than 170 residents of Alebtong and Otuke districts have sued government for alleged failure to protect their lives and properties from Karimojong herdsmen.
 
In their suit filed by Innocent Omara of Omara and Company Advocates, the petitioners say that recently thousands of the Karimojong herdsmen crossed into Alebtong and Otuke districts and forcefully settled on their land. They claim the herdsmen have destroyed several crop gardens putting their land to waste.
 
Three weeks ago, the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura directed for the deployment of Anti Stock theft Unit personnel in the area to curb down possible cattle theft by the herdsmen.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.