Angry residents set government excavator ablaze. Dozens injured in Wadelai

The Police in Pakwach have launched an investigation after a group of angry residents set ablaze a government excavator in a land dispute in Wadelai Sub County Pakwach district. The incident happened on Monday evening.

A land conflict between the Paten clan and Pakwach district local government put the completion of Wadelai irrigation scheme and handover to the government under threat. The district is seeking for an extension of 365 hectares of land for the irrigation project after observing that the initial part of 1,000 hectares that the project required is occupied by Ragem government prison farm. As an alternative, the district identified Adiri community land near the established scheme that the clan members are reluctant to offer on suspicion that the government intends to grab the community land. The clan and community members argue that the land in question is an identity of the entire Paten clan members from which they derive their livelihood from by grazing animals, laying bricks and excavating sand for building houses from. They demand compensation before government takes over their land but in vain.

Speaking to Oramba Chope, the Chairman LC3 Wadelai Sub county, confirmed the incident saying angry resident armed with arrows, Pangas stormed the contractors on site and put the grader on fire injuring several workers, he adds that the injured workers have been rushed to Nebbi Hospital, he further said security have been heightened in the area.

The community has however threatened to sue the district on claims that they are being threatened and intimidated. They said some district officials have openly stated that the project will continue whether they consent or not on the disputed land.