Mbale Residents Petition Swedish, Norwegian Govts Over Dam

1484 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
In their petition, the residents say that they have notified government of their decision not to provide land for constructing the proposed dam.

More than 5000 residents of Busiu and Busoba sub counties in Mbale have petitioned the Royal Swedish and Norwegian government over the proposed Bulusambu dam. The residents have asked both governments to withdraw from funding the project saying they are not interested in it. In their petition, the residents say that they have notified government of their decision not to provide land for constructing the proposed dam. However, they claim that government has ignored them and instead resorted to harassment, threats, arrests and detentions to intimidate them into submission.
 
The residents argue that this amounts to serious violation of their rights. They have asked the funders of the project and other Human rights bodies to intervene and condemn the violations. They also explain that at the inception of the proposed project, government refused to incorporate and sensitize them and that it now wants to use force to take their land, something they will not accept. They contend that the proposed site of the dam is the only fertile area and source of their livelihoods, which they cannot do away with. Alfred Namasa, one of the lead petitioners says that they have separately petitioned the speaker of Parliament demanding for attention on the matter.

//Cue in: “So we petition…
Cue out: …at this issues”//

The petition a copy of which URN has obtained, is also copied to the National Association of Professional Environmentalists. Early, this month the residents also petitioned World Bank, the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Project Manager – Nile Basin Initiative projects which is implementing the proposed project. The 55 billion shillings Bulusambu dam project is jointly funded by Royal Swedish and Norwegian Governments and World Bank. The dam will cover four sub counties of Busiu, Bukiende, Lukhonge and Busoba in Mbale and some parts of Manafwa district. It is one of the Nile Basin Initiative projects established specifically to focus on river Sio and Mpologoma basins that are shared between Kenya and Uganda.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.