Over 500 Households Face Eviction From Gulu Central Forest Reserve
More than 500 households face eviction from Gulu Central Forest Reserve. The reserve sits on 93 acres of land located in Laroo Division Gulu Municipality.
It was occupied during the period of insurgency in northern Uganda. Families that face potential eviction include those in Holy Rosary Sub Ward in Queen`s Parish, Limu and Lukung Sub Wards.
In October last year, the National Forest Authority (NFA) issued a 30-day ultimatum effective from 30th November 2019 for occupants to vacate the land or risk forceful eviction. However, several households have continued to reside in the forest reserve despite the NFA ultimatum.
Peter Okwera Onen, the Queen`s Parish Councilor who is also the Gulu Municipal Speaker said residents have requested for three more months to vacate the forest land. The response of the affected families to vacate has however been slow.
Moses Abonga, the Laroo Division Chairperson said that they are constrained from blocking the evictions because the land belongs to NFA. He appealed to occupants to vacate the area to avoid conflict with NFA as it may lead to destruction of property and violence.
Joyce Oryem, the Holy Rosary Sub Ward Local Chairperson which is in the affected area said that her community members are in panic since majority of them have failed to acquire land elsewhere to resettle.
Jimmy Ouna, the NFA Gulu Range Manager however said that they(NFA) will evict those who insist on living in the forest reserve.