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Karuma residents refuse to leave project site

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By NELSON WESONGA

Posted  Monday, July 9   2012 at  01:00

In Summary

The residents accuse the ministry of only compensating their crops and not land.

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Construction of Karuma Dam could be delayed following the refusal by about 338 people residing near the project site to sign off their land.

The group, with land ranging from 0.5 to 11 acres each, says though the Government Valuer assessed their land in September 2010, the ministry of Energy is compensating them for their crops, not land.
A team from the ministry, which had travelled to Kiryandongo on Friday to verify and later compensate the affected persons, had to retreat to Kampala after the affected persons questioned the omission.

“The ministry provided people with forms that captured the value of crops but had indicated land and property. That is why people refused to sign,” the Vice Chairperson of Awoo Village in Kiryandongo District, Mr Richard Owacgiu, told Daily Monitor yesterday.

Mr Owacgiu said the ministry officials told the PAPs to appeal to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Mr Fred Kaliisa-Kabagambe, if they want money for their land.

None of the ministry officials was available for comment. Karuma’s construction was slated to commence in June, but has been delayed due to, among others, allegations that some of the members evaluating the bidding firms took bribes.

nwesonga@ug.nationmedia.com