Key land issues

Amuru is one of the districts in which oil was discovered in Uganda. Different activities related to the petroleum industry are currently ongoing. This pushed ULA to focus energies on building a constituency of actors in the district on land, oil and gas governance. A total of 17 organizations which work on livelihoods were identified in June 2013 and their staff trained with a view to building a diverse, high performance civil society organisations platform that is capable of adapting to the rapidly changing environment and responding to the demands and issues arising out of land acquisitions and oil exploration in the region. The CSOs will ensure that the interests of local communities are addressed by the government and investors.

In addition, because of its fertile land, Amuru has been the focus of land grabbers for sugar cane growing, rice farming and much more. The latest land grab attempt that rocked the district was the Madhvani sugar Cane estate at Lakang which saw the communities take the matter to court. Community members feel that it is unfair for government to allocate communal land to investors without involving them.

Land use management and planning is critical to Amuru, as people get reintegrated and resettled after the Northern Uganda civil war that lasted for two decades. Because of land grabbing, the rural people are currently using scattered settlement methods to protect their land from being grabbed and from encroachment. They have also resorted to rotational farming, that is, cultivating a different piece of land annually, thus reducing the amount of underutilized land.

Other land issues in the area include:

  • Claims over communal land by individuals
  • Inter-clan land conflicts which sometimes turn violent and bloody
  • Land gifts retraction
  • Boundary disputes between Amuru, Gulu and Adjuman districts
  • Conflicts between communities and government agencies including the National Forestry Authority and Uganda Wildlife Authority
  • WomenĄŻs property rights violations
  • Boundary disputes between neighbours