UWA starts valuation of household property inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve

UWA starts valuation of household property inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve

UWA Officials during one of the community dialogues with the affected households in Degia village Ogoko sub county. PHOTO URN

Madi Okollo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA has started the valuation of all properties of households residing within the Ajai Wildlife Reserve in Madi Okollo district.

The exercise which commenced on Thursday followed the completion of the surveying exercise to identify individual landowners and assess the size of land occupied by each household, in preparation for their planned compensation and relocation.

Billy Kasingye, the government valuer attached to the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development zonal land office in Arua city explains that the exercise which is expected to take ten days aims to assess and value the property of the affected persons like crops, trees, graves, and land size among others.

Fred Kiiza, the Chief Warden in Murchison Falls National Park discloses that during the exercise, the affected households will agree on the properties found on the land and document them to facilitate compensation and eventual relocation.

According to the survey report, the affected households currently occupy an estimated 490 acres of land within the Ajai Wildlife Reserve.

However, Faima Letiru, the Madi Okollo District Speaker urges UWA to ensure the exercise is transparent and participatory to avoid possible disputes during the compensation process.

The eleven households, commonly known as “The Degia Community,” are situated in the northern part of Ajai Wildlife Reserve. The households mainly from the Aliba and Pamoli clans had settled in the area before the gazetting of the reserve in 1965.

The survey of the land occupied by the 11 households inside Ajai Wildlife Reserve coincides with UWA’s plans to translocate 200 Uganda Kobs and 50 Buffaloes as part of habitat preparation for the reintroduction of white rhinos.

Since November 2023, the UWA has been spearheading efforts to reintroduce the White Rhinos back to Ajai Wildlife Reserve, its original habitat. According to a road map issued by the Authority, the White Rhinos will be introduced in the reserve next year.

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URN

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