Katakwi-Local leaders in Katakwi districts are disturbed over the resurgence of Balalo and Karamojong pastoralists in the district who intend to graze their animals in Teso.
Joseph Ecuman , the Ongongoja District councilor, says that after the resolution, many Karimojong pastoralists stayed away from the district. Most of the pastoralists especially Balalo were driven out of the district by angry residents of Ongongonja but he is surprised that Balalo and some Karamojongs have resumed to the grazing grounds of Akumoumoi in Ongongoja, Okulonyo and Angisa Sub counties.
He is, however, surprised that Balalos have returned with trick of ferrying their animals on Fuso Lorries on Thursday a day to market day of Friday on pretence of selling at Ocorimongin cattle market but later drive cattle on groups to grazing grounds as those that failed to be sold.
He says invasion of Balalo has caused death, a case in point in Akumotukoit village where brothers fought over release of a calve; Ecuman blames the resurgence of Balalo and Karamojong to some livestock business people.
Geoffrey Omolo, the Katakwi LCV Chairperson says Balalo and Karamojong pastoralists are still notorious and if allowed in the district, they are likely to cause more chaos given the recent spillover of Balalos beating locals over capturing animals that destroy local’s gardens of crops in Ongongoja sub county.
He says the issues of Balalo have given the district a number of complex issues, whereby it’s becoming a commercial act by some bad hearted business people including leaders.
He says the Balalo Issue was also frustrated by wrong representation by RDCs during a meeting at Soroti with the prime minister who said the Balalo in Teso have no problem since they have intermarried with Iteso.
Geoffrey Omolo LCV katakwi on return of Balalo
Rtd Maj Godfrey Katamba, the RDC Katakwi says in North Eastern Uganda the president has instituted a ministerial committee who will come to authenticate the legality of Balalo.
The RDC said his office is taking gradual steps to implement the district council resolution to block Karimojong and Karimojong pastoralists from accessing grazing land without documentation.
He assured the Balalo to prepare and return to their respective areas of jurisdiction and leave Katakwi before the committee lands to Katakwi.
He says his office is busy profiling Balalo in areas of Ongongonja, Okulonyo and few in Angisa who are manipulating residents with money as they rent up land but later encroach wetland.
A report from locals indicates that the pastoralists having many herds of cattle, have caused havoc to gardens of crops hence cultivators lose. Also the pastures available are less carrying a capacity of animals as cattle are more than pasture available hence affecting re-growth of pasture.
In 2018, Teso leaders, after meeting their counterparts in Karamoja resolved that no Karimojong pastoralist will access pastures or water from Teso during the dry season without registration.
Both Katakwi and Kapelebyong District Councils recently made resolutions to block pastoralists without documents from accessing their respective districts. The pastoralists were expected to acquire documentation from their respective areas to present to the host communities and their leadership. The letters were to contain particulars of the pastoralists, the number of livestock and detailed conduct of individual pastoralists accompanied by National Identity Cards.