BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
TEREGO: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
The department of surveys and Mapping at the ministry of lands, housing and urban development has completed the reaffirmation of the disputed border between the districts of Terego and Madi-Okollo.
The exercise began with a sensitization meeting of the local community at Ocea resource centre on Thursday before the actual surveying and installation of 13 border pillars on Tuesday.
Henry Opio, the assistant commissioner for geological surveys and mapping led the team of cartographers and surveyors aided by authenticated map of Uganda and global positioning system gadgets.
Both districts seconded their own surveyors to represent them on the technical experts team during the exercise while the police and the army took care of security matters.
The officials have up-to two weeks to produce a report that would then be made public with the hope of nipping in the bud, a nagging border dispute that has dragged on since 1996.
Several houses have been burned allegedly by residents of Madi-okollo who occasionally organise and travel from near the River Nile to attack people they believe are settling on their land illegally, including South Sudan refugees ten of whom were killed last year.
Opio said while the border reaffirmation will not change land ownership and land use patterns, it will change administration and revenue collection in areas that were wrongly claimed by either party.
The development comes as a relief for the Madi-Okollo district woman Member of Parliament Joan Okia and Terego East Constituency MP who doubles as the state minister in-charge of urban development Mario Obiga Kania who led the mobilization and sensitization of the communities.
Amidist resistance from some Madi community members who contested the maps used for the exercise, Hon. Okia said she wants this matter settled so that she can proceed to resolve then other border dispute between Madi-Okollo and Yumbe district over Ewanga sub-county.
Meanwhile Hon. Kania urged the people to calm down saying that it is the government that is in-charge of borders not the community members.
He said by reaffirming the borders and erecting pillars to indicate the actual points at doubted areas, the government is carrying out its mandate.
While the official declaration of results is awaited, preliminary indications suggest that Bileafe sub-county in Terego district is set to lose two villages to Rhino Camp Sub-county in Madi Okollo and Uriama sub-county is set to lose the Ocea primary school, the resource centre, the ocea health centre III and half of the Ocea market to Rigbo sub-county.
Meanwhile Rigbo sub-county appears set to lose to Uriama sub-county about five villages that were wrongly claimed by it including the residence of the LCIII chairman Wilson Agele.