More than 300 Karamojong families have settled on the 20sqkm piece of land at Moruajore in Namalu sub-county, Nakapiripirit district, that was formally part of Pian-Upe wildlife game reserve.
The ethnic Pian Karamojong, the majority on the land, came from Amalera Prisons where they were squatters while others abandoned rented houses in the trading centre.
Edyau Ecodu, the game reserve warden said other settlers were those that had been on Kampala streets between 2005 and 2008 and had been evicted by city enforcement officers .
Edyau said the appeal to the district authorities is to regulate the settlement in the area to stop conflicts
John Nangiro theLC5 chairman of Nakapiripirit said that the delay by the Government to approve the district land board had created difficulties in regulating settlement in the former game reserve.
Parliament in 2002 de-gazetted part of the game reserve to create space for settlement and cultivation following the 1995 joint assessment study of the wildlife protected areas by the tourism ministry and district leaders.
A 68-year-old-Pian elder known as Peter Lokwany said that people started migrating to the area last year in December and more arrive daily. He added that Some of the challenges the group he rules has is starvation and shortage of clean water. There’s only one borehole in this area.He added that the district promised to send us seeds and farm implements like hoes but we have not received them.
The elder said most of the new settlers survive on selling bundles of firewood that fetch between sh500 and sh2,000. But Nangiro said sh15m from the National Agricultural Advisory Services had been secured to buy the items.
He also said that they plan to buy 1,500 hoes, 1,000kgs of maize and 500kgs of rice for the settlers though the formalities in the procurement exercise that are delaying the process.