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Pader: Where cotton is still a major earner

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Bwola,the Acholi traditional dance which is common in the district. PHOTO BY Robert Owot 

By  Robert Owot

Posted  Sunday, March 30  2014 at  16:29
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Pader.

Pader is among the seven districts that form Acholi Sub-region, the homeland of the Acholi ethnic group. The district was part of Kitgum District before Aruu and Agago counties were carved out in 2000 with a total population of 142,320. The population projection of 2012 put the number of people in Pader at 231,700.

From December 2000 to 1st July 2010 the district used to have two counties of Aruu and Agago until it was split to form Agago District. Aruu County now forms the present Pader District with 12 administrative units of 11 sub-counties and 1 urban council, 50 parishes, and 608 villages.

Pader District was the epicentre of the Holy Spirit Movement of the late Alice Lakwena (pictured) when she waged war against the NRA and thousands of people lost their lives at Corner Kilak Trading centre.

The scars of the war are visible in many graves located at Corner Kilak, Pader Sub-county. The two-decades northern war led by the LRA rebel commander, Joseph Kony, has also affected the district claiming many people’s lives.

Land tenure

The district has three major land tenure systems. The predominant one is the customary land tenure system. Land is normally obtained through inheritance from father to son and controlled by the household and elders.
A few individuals, especially from urban centres and institutions obtain land through leasehold, which was previously managed by the town council, but now is directly under the District Land Board. The district administration, development partners and religious institution in the district are established on freehold land.

Crime rate
2012 experienced a general decline in reported cases which stood at 1,088 reported to police compared to the previous year’s 2011, which figure was at 1,390. The crime rate reduced to 459 cases per 100,000 people as compared to 591 cases per 100,000 people in the previous year.

The most prevalent crime last year was general thefts with a total of 243 cases followed by assaults with a total of 146 cases. Defilement and other sex-related crimes recorded 126 cases and threatening violence recorded 125 cases.

Land conflicts remain a top security threat in the district as people fight one another over land and many lives have been lost in the course of the fighting.

Agriculture
Ninety per cent of the population in Pader District are Subsistence farmers. The main food crops grown in the district include; finger millet, maize, sorghum, cassava, peas, beans and vegetables.

The traditional and non - traditional cash crops grown include; Cotton, tobacco, soya beans, simsim, rice, sunflower and groundnuts. Other agricultural activities include; fish hunting and fish farming

Location
The district is bordered by Lamwo District to the northwest, Kitgum District to the north-east, Agago District to the east, Otuke District to the south-east, Lira District to the south, Oyam District to the south-west and Gulu District to the west.

Population
The 2012 population projection put the number of people in Pader at 231,700. The district has an annual population growth rate of 5 per cent compared to the national population growth rate of 3.2 per cent.

Literacy levels
Pader has an overall literacy rate of 39.3 per cent with 21.6 per cent men and 18 per cent of women being literate. With the introduction of Universal Primary Education, the total enrolment is 154,949. Most children fall out of school after Primary Seven where the completion rate is 26 per cent boys and 17 per cent girls.

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