Lira, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Residents of Ongica (B), Anai ward in Lira city’s west division are expressing doubts about the criteria employed by the National Forestry Authority in delineating the boundaries of the Te-ilwa forestry reserve.
These locals suspect that the National Forestry Authority may be attempting to take over their land, as they argue that the Te-ilwa forest reserve was supposedly established after they had already settled in the area.
Collins Margret Oyuku, one of the residents, conveyed to Voice of Lango FM that her great-grandparents had established their presence on this land in 1926. Therefore, it seems implausible that the land could have been officially designated as a forest reserve in 1965, as claimed by the National Forestry Authority.
Another community member, Moses Ayo, mentioned that they have initiated legal proceedings against the National Forestry Authority because they have no alternative place to relocate if they are unjustly evicted.
Emmanuel Egaro, a lawyer representing the affected residents from Egaro and Company Advocates, stated to Voice of Lango FM that there is no evidence presented by the National Forestry Authority in court to substantiate the assertion that Te-ilwa forest reserve was designated in 1965.
The East Lango National Forestry Authority sector manager, Gracious Aguti, contested Egaro’s assertion, affirming to Voice of Lango that all documents verifying the status of Te-ilwa as a forest reserve are currently in the possession of the court.
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