CSOs Launch Albertine Region Land Platform
Civil Society Organizations working on land issues in the oil rich region have launched a sharing platform dubbed the Albertine Region Land Platform (ARLP) to devise mechanisms to curb the rampant land disputes in the region.
The platform, launched on February 22, 2017, seeks to among others; create space for sharing and reflection by members, and to generate common positions on strategic questions of regional and national importance.
Speaking at the launch of the platform, Hoima Deputy Resident District Commissioner John Steven Ekoom, appreciated Civil Society Organizations for the initiative to bring all relevant stakeholders together to discuss pertinent issues on land and the fervor to generate joint solutions to address the land challenges in the region.
“Due to ongoing oil development activities, the region continues to witness many land related challenges including land grabbing, fraudulently issued land titles, evictions among others which therefore need joint efforts from different stakeholders,” Ekoom said adding that as government, his office commits to work with other stakeholders and make important contribution towards protecting and promoting the land rights of the vulnerable.
The Albertine region where most of the oil and gas developments are currently being undertaken is socially sensitive due to the social impacts of the industry on people and livelihoods and hence witnessed controversies relating to land acquisition, irregularly issued land title, and violent evictions.
The established platform will be an opportunity for CSOs and other stakeholders working on land issues to share and adopt common positions for the attention of government and other stakeholders but also make important contributions towards protecting the rights of the vulnerable.
According to Bashir Twesigye, Executive Director of the Civic Response on Environment and Development (CRED), one of the organizations that spearheaded the creation of the platform, CSOs make important contributions towards protecting the rights of the vulnerable.
“We have rolled out interventions relating to community sensitizations, land registration, livelihood support, among others. However, all this continues to take place in the absence of a mechanism for civil society organizations sharing among themselves in the work that they are doing and reflecting on the hard governance question that impact the region,” he told Oil in Uganda, stating that the Platform will ensure cohesion of purpose to avoid duplication of CSO interventions, synergy building around key land issues for efficient advocacy while building on CSOs’ respective strengths.
The Platform members include Navigators for Development Association (NAVODA), Kitara Heritage Development Agency (KHEDA), Mid-Western Region Anti-Corruption (MIRAC), Hoima Caritas Development Association( HOCADEO), Lake Albert Children Women Advocacy and Development Organization(LACWADO), Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development (BIRUDO), Kwatanisa women Group, and Kakindo Orphanage. Others are Buliisa NGO Forum, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), Global Rights Alert, BAPENECO, and MICODA.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Hoima District Local Government, Bunyoro Kingdom, District Internal Security Officer-Hoima, Northern Uganda Land Platform and community representatives.
Report by Oil in Uganda