Lack Of Water Hampers ASTU Deployment In Kitgum

2134 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
The establishment of an anti-stock theft Unit (ASTU) in Lalekan Village in Kitgum district has stalled due to lack of safe and clean water in the area.

The establishment of an anti-stock theft Unit (ASTU) in Lalekan Village in Kitgum district has stalled due to lack of safe and clean water in the area.
In March this year, residents in Lalekan Village in Okuti Parish, Orom Sub county provided a five-acre piece of land for the establishment of the detach after losing several of their livestock to cattle rustlers believed to be from South Sudan.
Okiya Ambrose Willy, the ASTU Commander in Orom Sub County, says construction of the detach should have commenced by Mid-April but lack of clean and safe water in the area has crippled the development.
Okiya says the other challenge to deploying personnel in Orom is the presence of only grass-thatched huts which are not suitable for storing guns. He says having an ASTU detach in Lalekan Village is strategic for countering the influx and escape of cattle rustlers from South Sudan.
Quirino Olum, the Orom Sub County Chairperson, says several attempts to drill boreholes in the area to provide the much needed clean and safe water encountered dry wells. Olum says cattle raids in Lalekan and neghbouring parishes pose the single biggest challenge to cattle restocking program in the sub county.
Paul Awudak, the Deputy District Internal Security Officer, says the personnel can only be deployed in the area on condition that the social amenities are in place.
Okiya says Kitgum and Lamwo districts will each have its own ASTU zonal areas of operation to effectively deal with challenges of cattle raids in the area ahead of the cattle restocking program.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.