Families want graves of loved ones exhumed from Gulu logistic hub project site

Gulu logistic hub construction is underway with works at 65%.

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Forty seven families in Gulu want the graves of their loved ones on the land hosting the Gulu Logistic Hub project exhumed. The Shillings 107 billion trade hub sits on a piece of land measuring 54 acres in Layibi-Go down cell, Bardege-Layibi division, Gulu city.

The land was jointly donated for the project by Uganda Railway Cooperation and the community. Construction of the hub which is being undertaken by Ambitious Construction Limited, started in June last year. However, residents say the graves of their loved ones buried at the project site several years ago were not exhumed before the works commenced.

They want the graves exhumed or else they stop the project, which stands at 65%. Through their chairperson Denis Acellam, the families petitioned Gulu Resident City Commissioner, Uganda Railway Corporation and Trade Mark East Africa on Monday demanding the removal of the graves and compensation.

Acellam says 50 graves belonging to 47 families that were within the project site have already been destroyed without their consents despite their earlier agreement that they should be exhumed to pave way for the works. He says that the families of the deceased people are demanding Shillings 3 million each for the exhumation and transfer of the graves.

Denis Odongpiny, the Gulu Resident City Commissioner who acknowledged the concerns raised by the residents asked the managers of the project to consider their concerns and compensate them expeditiously. Christine Mugoya, the Accounting Economist for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in Uganda, the project founding entity, says that they will engage the residents and ensure that their demands are addressed soonest for timely completion of the project.

The project is expected to be completed in the next financial year. It will consist of a dry port with both rail and truck terminals. The major features include a container freight station, customs clearing site, container holding station, container cleaning and repair station and vehicle holding station among other customs administrative units.

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