“A funny place to store carbon” Chapter 3

30 Dec

A CHRONOLOGY OF CONFLICTS AT MOUNT ELGON

By Chris Lang and Timothy Byakola, published by WRM, December 2006

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The FACE Foundation’s carbon is supposed to be stored for 99 years in trees planted in Mount Elgon National Park. A look back over 99 years of Uganda’s and Mount Elgon’s sometimes turbulent history shows how difficult it would have been 99 years ago to predict whether 25,000 hectares of trees planted back then would still be there today. If it’s impossible looking back in time, why should we assume that trees planted today will still be there in the future? Yet that is precisely what the FACE Foundation is asking us to believe.

The recent and on-going conflicts between UWA and local communities are documented here in detail. Violence has flared on both sides and several people have been killed. Yet the FACE Foundation denies that the conflicts are on-going and SGS makes little or no mention of them in its certification reports.[50]

In 1894, exactly one hundred years before the FACE Foundation started its tree planting project, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a British protectorate (see Box: The British in Uganda). The British took control of Mount Elgon, along with all other forest lands in Uganda in 1929,[51] the year of Uganda’s first Forest Policy.

In 1938, the British completed a survey of the boundary of Mount Elgon and gazetted the area as a Crown Forest.[52] Technical changes to its status followed in 1951 when Mount Elgon became a Forest Reserve.[53] British management aimed to maintain water flows from Mount Elgon by maintaining forest cover. At the same time, the forests were to be logged. The British carried out inventories aimed at timber extraction and made plans to replant logged areas of forest.

The Benet and other communities living on Mount Elgon were not consulted when the area was made a forest reserve. “They were also denied any rights to the forest (which, ironically, they have always ‘owned’, managed and conserved using indigenous knowledge and institutions)”, points out Gershom Onyango, Assistant Commissioner for Forestry, Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources. “The only privilege granted to them was that of collecting non-timber products, in reasonable quantities, for their domestic use.”[54]

The colonial government’s declaration of Mount Elgon as a crown forest was the start of a long process of marginalisation for the Benet community. For a long time, the Benet were in effect ignored. One of their leaders explained, “We were left in the forest and forgotten as if we were part of the trees, and yet we were made to pay graduated tax.”[55]

About 70 families living in Mbale district were issued with heritable licences allowing them to continue living and farming within the crown forest. In 1954, when the British produced the first working plan for Mount Elgon forest reserve, about 30 families with licences were still living in the reserve, mainly in the area of Bulucheke.[56]
 

The British in Uganda

British involvement in Uganda started with the arrival of missionaries in the late 19th century. In 1888, the area which is now Uganda was run by a commercial trading company, when a royal charter handed over control in East Africa to the Imperial British East Africa Company. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a British protectorate.

The 1900 Buganda Agreement (between Queen Victoria’s Special Commissioner and Regents and chiefs on behalf of the Kabaka [King] of Uganda) allowed the British to establish a means of indirect rule that used the Buganda tribe as colonial middlemen and bureaucrats. The incentive for the Buganda was Britain’s granting of freehold land to chiefs and the king of the Buganda in exchange for their cooperation.

Not long after gaining control of the country, the British decided that Uganda needed more trees. The colonial Scientific and Forestry Department’s annual report for 1904 states:

“The time has now arrived to pay attention to afforestation. At present wood-fuel is the fuel of the country and the development of industries, formation of railways, the addition of steamers, all mean more fuel and timber, and diminution of forested areas unless preventive measures are adopted.”

The British produced the first National Forest Policy for Uganda in 1929. Crown reserves came under central government control and native reserves were under the control of regional administrations, the latter aimed at supplying village-level wood requirements. The 1929 policy included Forest Protection Regulations under which Ugandans were required to obtain a government permit before harvesting products from the forest. However, an exception was made for products for domestic use.

Henry Osmaston was one of the best known British foresters in Uganda. Born in Dehra Dun, where his father was an official in the Indian Forest Service, he was educated at Eton and Oxford and was Senior Assistant Conservator of Forests in Uganda between 1949 and 1963. He died in June 2006.

“It had been established from the beginning that the interests of the inhabitants were paramount,” according to Osmaston. The 1948 Forest Policy, written one year before Osmaston arrived in Uganda appears to confirm this opinion:

“It is accepted that the satisfaction of the needs of inhabitants of Uganda must take precedence over purely financial considerations and the establishment of an export trade; and that only when these needs have been satisfied can the aim of management be directed, in production reserves, to obtaining the greatest revenue compatible with a continuous yield, and to promoting an external trade in timber and other forest produce.”

But the British created a domestic and international market for timber products from Uganda. Large numbers of pit sawyers set up operations throughout Uganda. By 1960, all the major areas of forests were protected for water catchment or timber production and softwood plantations had been established in several areas (including two areas of softwood plantations at Mount Elgon).

Osmaston returned to Uganda in 1996 for a conference about the Rwenzori Mountains. According to Osmaston’s obituary in the Independent, he was “gratified to see some of his own forestry conservation measures still in place”.

This comment illustrates the problem of forest management in Uganda (and many other tropical countries). In “protecting” forests for water catchment and timber supply, colonial powers excluded local people from the management of the forests. Local people lost their rights to their forests (or at least had their rights severely constrained). While it may have been gratifying for Osmaston to see “his” conservation measures still in place more than 30 years after independence, in practice what this means is that local people are still excluded from forest management.

Sources:

Ashley, Rebecca (2005) “Colonial Solutions, Contemporary Problems: Digging to the Root of Environmental Degradation in Kabale, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working paper series, World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia.

Dicklitch, S. 1998. The Elusive Promise of NGOs in Africa: Lessons from Uganda. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Cited in Ashley (2005).

Uganda Forest Department (1951) A History of the Uganda Forest Department 1898-1929, Bulletin No. 3., D.L. Patel Press Ltd., Uganda, page 13. Cited in Ashley (2005).

Venables, Stephen (2006) “Henry Osmaston: Forester, geographer, climber and co-author of the definitive guidebook to the ‘Mountains of the Moon’”, The Independent, 10 July 2006.

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The British granted Uganda independence in 1962. In 1966, Prime Minister Milton Obote abolished the constitution and installed himself as president. The result was a series of coups and counter-coups which would last for the next twenty years. Idi Amin took power in January 1971, while Obote was out of the country at a Commonwealth conference. Amin’s military rule cost 250,000 lives. He was overthrown in 1979 and Obote returned to power. Under Obote the country plunged into civil war. The army was responsible for 300,000 civilian deaths.[57] Obote was deposed in 1985 by General Tito Okello. Six months later Okello was overthrown by the National Resistance Army and the current president Yoweri Museveni came to power.[58]

A survey of the Mount Elgon park boundary was completed in 1964 and the boundary was marked with rows of exotic tree species. Over the years many of these trees were cut, making it difficult to establish exactly where the boundary was.

In 1968, Mount Elgon was re-gazetted as Mount Elgon Central Forest Reserve[59] and a new 10-year working plan drawn up aimed at protecting the forest, but with timber extraction as a secondary objective.[60]

During the Amin and Obote years formal Forest Department management of the park broke down almost completely. Tree planting and other silvicultural activities stopped.

Amin expelled all Asians from Uganda. The vast majority of the businesses in Uganda were run by Asians and the businesses were taken over by Amin’s cronies and the military. The result was a disaster for the Ugandan economy. Amin declared an “economic war” followed in 1973 by an encouragement to clear forests under the “double production campaign”, aimed at doubling agricultural production.[61]

Thousands of people fled to forest areas in an attempt to escape the brutalities of the Amin regime. Government policies encouraged the clearing of forest was to prevent rebel groups who opposed the government from using forest areas as cover. Amin declared that Ugandans were free to settle anywhere and a land reform decree of 1975 allowed people to acquire land for “development”. Government officials allocated gazetted forest land to individuals or ministries for “development”.[62] Senior forestry offices issued licences for residence, grazing and cultivation within Mount Elgon forest reserve in return for bribes. The people who paid for these licences did not necessarily see these payments as bribes. Many firmly believe that they had legitimately bought the legal rights to the land.[63]

The early 1970s was also a bad period for the Benet living on the moorlands inside Mount Elgon forest reserve. A severe drought in 1971 resulted in extensive forest fires at Mount Elgon. To compensate for the loss of forest products, the Benet started growing crops. Having ignored the Benet for 40 years, the Forest Department now decided that the Benet were encroachers. The Benet were harassed and several were imprisoned. Two years later, the government moved the Benet down to an area between the Kere and Kaptokwoi Rivers. The government, however, provided no assistance either with the move or with setting up new livelihoods. Many Benet Community members moved, but others were worried about how they would survive in an unfamiliar environment and stayed on the mountain in an area called Yatui.[64]

In 1972, following a meeting of parish representatives to discuss land rights, the Benet community formed the Benet Lobby Group. “We are landless in our own motherland, this is a very serious violation of human rights,” explains Moses Mwanga, chairman of the Benet Lobby Group since 1973.[65]

After the fall of Idi Amin in 1979, large numbers of military weapons became available. Cattle raiding groups who had previously carried out their raids with spears, bows and arrows suddenly had access to guns. Their raids became a serious threat to Sabiny people living in the northern plains and many of them moved further up the slopes of Mount Elgon. They settled on the forested edge of the reserve to escape the cattle raiders.[66]

In the early 1980s, the Forest Department started resettling Benet families who were living inside the forest reserve. The Forest Department “justified the resettlement as a means to promote environmental and economic developmental interests” notes Himmelfarb. Many Benet did not want to leave their abundant pasture land on the mountain to become permanently settled farmers.[67]

In 1983, Patrick Rubaihayo, the then-Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, announced that people evicted from the park should be allocated land immediately. Six committees were set up to allocate land for six zones in the Benet area. The terms of reference for the committees were to resettle three categories of people:

  • The Benet people;
  • People displaced as a result of cattle raiding; and
  • The needy.[68]

The Benet and others were supposed to be settled in area of 6,000 hectares. However, the land was not surveyed and the actual area allocated was about 7,500 hectares.[69] Nevertheless, the land allocations in the “Benet Resettlement Area” were approved by central government.[70]

The land allocation was rushed, taking just six weeks, and was riddled with problems. The Forest Department issued deeds to land inside the forest reserve, before it had been legally de-gazetted.[71] People received land within the Benet Resettlement Area, but received no help with resettlement or with information about their rights to use the protected area. Some of the Benet didn’t receive any land.[72]

In the late 1980s and 1990s several aid agencies, including the European Union, the World Bank, NORAD and GTZ, financed a series of capacity building projects with the Ugandan Forestry and Game Departments. Part of the re-building of institutional effectiveness included forced eviction (and sometimes resettlement) of people living in protected areas[73] (see Box: “International support for evictions“).
 

International support for evictions

The European Union

Between 1990 and 1993, more than 130,000 people were evicted from their homes in forest areas in Uganda, as part of the European Commission’s Natural Forest Management and Conservation project. Patricia Feeney, in a 1998 report for Oxfam observes that “Local people were not considered as participants, stakeholders, or beneficiaries, and the subsequent implementation of the project did not take account of their immediate needs and interests.”

“In a project financed by the European Union donor in Uganda, for instance, local authorities decided to speed displacement by setting on fire the houses of the target families,” states a 1996 World Bank review of projects involving involuntary resettlement.

People evicted received no compensation. A report for the UK Overseas Development Institute notes that “forest protection has been achieved only through large-scale forced evictions. There has been no redress for local people, who have suffered significant losses in the process.”

Feeney documents the evictions from Kibale National Park in detail. She quotes a woman who was evicted from the park:

“We were chased out on the first day. I didn’t know anything was happening until the police ran into my compound. They all had guns. They shouted at me, told me to run. I had no chance to say anything. They came at us and we ran, they came so violently. I was frightened for the children – I had eight children with me – but we just ran off in all directions. I took my way and the children took theirs. Other people were running, panicking, even picking up the wrong children in the confusion.”

Feeney points out that responsibility for the violence lies with the local authorities who carried out the evictions. “But the EC cannot evade the charge that it agreed to finance this project,” she notes, “knowing that it would result in massive population displacement, and that it failed to make any provision either to compensate or resettle the affected communities.”

The World Bank

Since the late 1980s, the World Bank has been involved in capacity building in the wildlife sector in Uganda. The European Commission’s Natural Forest Management and Conservation project was part of a US$38 million, World Bank-funded Forest Rehabilitation Project. The World Bank has also given support to the process of planning for the resettlement of the Benet people in Kapchorwa District.

In July 1998, the World Bank started funding the Protected Area Management and Sustainable Use (PAMSU) project. The main objective of this project is the “sustainable and cost-effective management of Uganda’s wildlife and cultural resources”.

According to PAMSU project documents, the environmental problem is “Biologically diverse forests and other ecosystems threatened by human encroachment.” The project goal is to “Improve management of national system of protected areas and revitalize ecotourism industry.”

Part of the PAMSU project includes re-tracing the boundaries at Mount Elgon National Park. Under the PAMSU project the World Bank was to “provide funds to engage a team of consultants to review and design appropriate plans to address the specific issues of people resident in the protected areas”. A Protected Area System Plan drawn up under the project is supposed to benefit communities living in and around protected areas. PAMSU project documents state that the project was supposed to lead to a reduction in “conflicts between park authorities and local communities over boundaries and resource use” through establishing the “Parliamentary approved and agreed boundaries for the protected areas estate”, allowing for clear demarcation of where the local population can and cannot legitimately use the resources. According to the project document, the “process for establishing the new [protected area] system was a highly participatory process”.

In 2003, the World Bank gave UWA a US$30 million loan under the Protected Area Management and Sustainable Use programme. Announcing the loan at the Imperial Botanical Hotel, Entebbe, UWA’s then-executive director Arthur Mugisha said, “There are good reasons why we need parks. They are still important for conservation and tourism and if there is security, the revenue will increase.” Mugisha appealed to “legislators to explain the aims of the process of establishing boundaries to the communities”, according to a report in New Vision. The project included surveying boundaries at Mount Elgon. Mugisha said that “legal owners of land who would be affected would be resettled or compensated by the Prime Minister’s office”. This excludes the vast majority of people affected by the boundary changes because the government does not recognise their right to be there.

In September 2005, tourism state minister, Jovino Akaki-Ayumu, said that more than US$50 million had been spent under the PAMSU project to develop and secure Uganda’s parks from “poachers and insurgents”. The money was partly used to train 1,300 rangers in paramilitary skills, build capacity of staff, demarcate parks and develop infrastructure.

In a 2005 review of PAMSU project documents, Emily Caruso of the UK-based NGO Forest Peoples Programme points out that Bank reports make no mention of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Safeguard Policies are mentioned but project documents state that no Operational Policy applies in this case. Indigenous Peoples are mentioned in project documents, but there is no Indigenous Peoples’ Development Plan. No baseline study of social aspects was carried out.

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)

In 1988, the Ugandan Ministry of Environment Protection, together with IUCN, identified Mount Elgon as a “critical area which required urgent intervention to reverse the ongoing trend of degradation”. The Mount Elgon Conservation and Development Project was started, “to help the Forest Department regain control of the encroached forest,” according to Gershom Onyango, Assistant Commissioner for Forestry in the Ugandan Forest Department. Funding came from the Norwegian Agency for External Cooperation (NORAD).

An evaluation of the project in 1993 concluded that “the original strategy was too biased towards protection.” The Forest Department evicted thousands of people from Mount Elgon between 1988 and 1993, resulting in conflicts and resentment. Patricia Feeney comments that “one of the most serious legacies of this approach has been the alienation of the local communities from conservation efforts.”

Since 2002, NORAD has supported the Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme, which operates in Uganda and Kenya. IUCN has provided technical assistance for both projects. Although the project now includes working with communities, neither NORAD nor IUCN have made any serious effort to address the issues of resettlement, displacement, evictions and associated human rights abuses at Mount Elgon (see Chapter 5: IUCN and NORAD).

In 2000, a team of academics from the Centre for Development Studies of the University of Wales published the results of their interviews with several representatives of aid agencies in Uganda. The representatives, who had responsibility for projects which involved displacement, stated that “they were not aware of any policies on resettlement held by the organisations for which they work”. But as the academics pointed out, even if the aid agency itself has no resettlement policy, each aid agency is from a country which is a member of the OECD and therefore, at least in theory, follows OECD policy guidelines on involuntary resettlement.

Sources:

Baatvik, Svein Terje, John R.S. Kaboggoza, Charity Kabutha, Paul Vedeld, “Mt. Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) Appraisal Report”, Noragric Report No. 7, May 2002.

Brown, David, Michael Richards, Kate Schreckenberg, Gill Shepherd and Sandrine Tiller (1999) “Getting aid delivery right: Host country, donor and international complementarity for greater aid effectiveness in the forest sector“, European Tropical Forestry Paper 4, Overseas Development Institute, European Commission.

Caruso, Emily (2005) “The Global Environment Facility in Central Africa. A desk-based review of the treatment of indigenous peoples’ and social issues in a sample of 14 biodiversity projects“, Forest Peoples Programme, March 2005.

Cernea, M. M. and Guggenheim, S. (1996) “Resettlement and Development. The Bankwide Review of Projects Involving Involuntary Resettlement”, World Bank, Resettlement Series no. 32. Cited in Cernea, Michael M. and Kai Schmidt-Soltau (2003) “National Parks and Poverty Risks: Is Population Resettlement the Solution?“, paper presented at the World Parks Congress, Durban, South Africa, 8-17 September 2003.

Feeney, Patricia (1998) “Accountable Aid. Local Participation in Major Projects”, Oxfam Publications.

Govt set to review national park deals“, New Vision, 29 September 2005.

Onyango, Gershom (1996) “Local participation for the conservation and management of natural forests, Uganda“, paper presented at WB/UNEP African Forestry Policy Forum Nairobi, 29-30 August 1996.

Rew, Alan, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

Tenywa, Gerald (2003) “Wildlife Gets $30m Loan“, New Vision, 1 May 2003.

World Bank (no date) “Protected Area Management and Sustainable Use (PAMSU)“, Global Environmental Facility.

World Bank (2002) Protected Areas Management and Sustainable Use Project (PAD), pages 22 and 23.

 
In 1989 the government changed the status of Mount Elgon again, this time from a Central Forest Reserve to a Forest Park. The park authorities continued to threaten and harass the Benet living in Yatui. They also clamped down on hunting, grazing and agriculture inside the park. In 1990, park rangers set fire to Benet houses in Yatui. The Benet fled in terror and moved to an area above the 1983 boundary line.[74]

In 1993, the government re-surveyed the Benet Resettlement Area. The new survey excluded an area of 1,500 hectares and demarcated an area of only 6,000 hectares for the Benet. Anthropologist David Himmelfarb notes that 6,000 people[75] who had been living on the 1,500 hectares area of land were declared “encroachers” and were once again evicted – this time with no land allocation.[76]

Mount Elgon is declared a national park

In 1993, the government declared Mount Elgon a National Park, bringing in “a new era of confusion and conflict” as David Himmelfarb puts it.[77] None of the people living in and around Mount Elgon were consulted about their sudden loss of rights to their farms and homes.[78] No one received any compensation.[79] “Our homeland was declared a national park in 1993. This was very disappointing, and since then the work of the local group has been to plead with the government that this was unfair and violated human rights,” Moses Mwanga, chairman of the Benet Lobby Group, said at a conference in 2002.[80]

Uganda National Parks took over management of the park from the Forestry Department[81] and installed an even stricter preservationist approach to conserving Mount Elgon than that imposed by the Forest Department.[82] Uganda National Parks commissioned a boundary survey, aimed at re-establishing the survey completed in 1964. Families found within the boundary were given nine days to leave their land and homes, even though some had lived there for more than 40 years.[83]

After UWA took over management of the National Park, violent conflicts arose as rangers impounded cattle inside the newly re-surveyed boundaries of the park. Several villagers living above the 1993 boundary told Himmelfarb about harassment, threats and violence at the hands of park rangers. “Several alleged that in the past UWA rangers have killed several young men in the forest, shot at others and raped numerous young women collecting firewood”, writes Himmelfarb. Meanwhile, park officials reported being attacked by villagers.[84]

In 1994, one year after Mount Elgon was declared a national park, the FACE Foundation started its tree-planting around the boundary of the park. Discussions between the FACE Foundation and the management of Mount Elgon Forest Park had started in 1992 and continued while Mount Elgon was declared a National Park and hundreds of people were brutally evicted.

In 1994, the same year that the FACE Foundation’s tree planting started, Benet communities wrote to the government opposing the survey carried out in 1993. The government set up an Inter-Ministerial Task Force to study the scale of the problem and to make recommendations to the government.[85] The Task Force’s report, which was published in 1996, acknowledged that mistakes had been made during the establishment of the Benet Resettlement Area: “One single most important error committed was that the proposed 6000 ha to be excised was never surveyed, demarcated and de-gazetted on the ground.”[86]

Among the Task Force’s recommendations was that the 1983 boundary should be maintained around the Benet Resettlement Area and that the Benet from Yatui should be allocated an area of land east of the Kere River. In 1996, the government adopted and approved this recommendation and two years later a Benet Implementation Committee was set up. After consultations with local communities the committee drew up an action plan to implement the reinstatement of the 1983 boundary. However, the government made no funding available to carry out the action plan.[87]

In addition to the problems facing people living in the Benet Resettlement Area, the Benet Implementation Committee recognised a further problem. There was no land available to resettle people still living inside the national park:

“The biggest problem this resettlement is faced with is that there is no empty land, free from encumbrances, on which to resettle the new people from the forests and moor-lands of the National Park. This means that availability of the land has to depend on the good will of the host population. This puts government in a somehow difficult situation, of resettling more people in an area which is already occupied.”[88]

A research team from the Centre for Development Studies of the University of Wales commented that the plans to resettle people from the national park were “ill-conceived and formulated by people who do not have experience of resettlement planning”.[89] For example, the research team explained, the plans included “sensitisation seminars” aimed at persuading people resettled and the people living in the area into which they are to be resettled of the “need to conserve and use sustainably the delicate mountain ecosystem”. The team’s report notes that

“Such a description can only suggest that those responsible for the action plan did not employ a social scientist with knowledge of people’s livelihood strategies in the area. Furthermore, there is a clear bias towards conservation rather than considering the needs, hopes and desires of the people who will be affected.”[90]

As part of a Protected Areas Assessment Plan, which was carried out in the Benet Resettlement Area in 1999, a team from UWA marked a boundary line on the ground by sinking red coloured metal markers along the line. This became known locally as the “red line”.[91]

Conflicts between UWA rangers and villagers during this period were frequent. In August 1999, UWA’s game scouts destroyed farmers’ maize crops within the national park. Farmers retaliated by burning down the game scouts’ post.[92]

In 2000, UWA staff confiscated villagers’ cows found grazing inside park boundaries in the Kapkwai area. The rangers attempted to take the cows to Mbale, but were confronted by a group of people from Kapkwai blocking the road. According to rangers, villagers threw stones, sabotaged a vehicle, reclaimed the cows and stole a gun. The rangers fired in the air, but the 12 rangers and two drivers were forced to flee.[93]

UWA’s response was violent. “I am quite happy that the community still have the gun because it allows us to pressure them”, an UWA staff member told Linda Norgrove, a student from Manchester University who was conducting PhD research at Mount Elgon. UWA sent in Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers supposedly to look for the gun, “terrorizing the people of Kapkwai and Upper Tegeres parishes in the process,” according to Norgrove.[94]

Evictions from the Kapkwata Softwood Plantation

In July 2000, park authorities set fire to houses near the Kapkwata Softwood Plantation inside Mount Elgon National Park. At least 250 homes were destroyed. More than 3,000 people were evicted. The residents had been given two weeks to move, but stayed. “They had notified us two weeks in advance,” one former resident of Kapkwata camp, Mzee Arap Mwanga told New Vision,

“But we had nowhere to go. We have lived in this camp since childhood. Our fathers were also raised up in this very camp. Now, where else could we go? We decided to stay around, until the day those men came and set this camp ablaze.”[95]

The people accused UWA of evicting them from land they have lived on since 1956, without offering them any alternative settlement.[96]

The Kapkwata Softwood Plantation was set up by the British. Mzee Arap Mwanga, one of the people evicted, told New Vision that “Our parents were collected from inside the forest in the 1930s and brought here to Kapkwata where they were convinced to start planting the soft wood trees.”[97] Before the evictions, Kapkwata had streets, three schools, a playground and a flourishing market. “These poor people say they are now getting poorer,” New Vision reported.[98]

During the eviction, which was carried out with the help of the Police and Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers, villagers lost most of their livestock and saw their wives and children beaten up and tortured.[99] Villagers accused the army of several gang rapes. They accused the Army, Police and Park Officials of shooting at their donkeys and said they now had to bribe rangers if they are found outside the area to which they were evicted after 5 pm. A UPDF spokesperson denied the allegations of brutality to New Vision.[100]

Chebet Maikut, one of the MPs from the area described the eviction as “a gross violation of human rights”.[101] But Arthur Mugisha, then-Executive Director of UWA, said that UWA was operating within the law to find out who burnt the forest and grazed their animals inside the park.

He said that the law allows UWA to shoot domestic animals found inside the park and to prosecute their owners. “This issue is not a problem at all because these people have land to return to in the lowlands,” Mugisha told New Vision. “The desk for complainants was closed without a single person reaching there for its services,” he added. Meanwhile, an UWA official told New Vision that UWA was only doing its job. “Mount Elgon National Park is an international conservation area. So we have to protect it from destruction,” the official said.[102]

Villagers camped just across the boundary outside the park. They were not allowed to collect wild vegetables, herbs, poles for construction or water from the park.[103] They lived in makeshift shelters with no toilets, water or other basic necessities. In September 2001, New Vision reported that five people had died after being evicted from Kapkwata “because of poor living conditions in their new settlement camp outside the park”.[104] Eventually they were offered rocky land belonging to someone else.[105]

Land rights, shootings, killings

In May 2001, the Uganda Land Alliance and Action Aid set up the Land Rights Centre in Kapchorwa town as a response to the evictions and as a way of helping villagers. At the opening, according to a report in New Vision, Kapchorwa district chairman Christopher Sango Chepkurui said that the majority of police cases in the district were as a result of land disputes.[106]

Conflicts continued. On 15 September 2001, three people were killed in an exchange of gunfire between Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers and people living inside Mount Elgon National Park. The UPDF soldiers were attached to a forest guard unit in Kapchorwa. The fight broke out when the soldiers came across two people inside Mount Elgon National Park on a routine patrol in Kapkwata.[107] A week later, UWA rangers shot a poacher in Kapchorwa district inside Mount Elgon National Park.[108] Two people were killed in Kwanyi sub-county in Kween in the same month.[109]

In November 2001, New Vision reported that “over 10 people had been killed over land disputes in Kapchorwa”. The District Police Commander, Tomson Ogole, said, “The main problems which bring all these conflicts here are centered around land disputes, cattle theft, ethnic clashes and political differences. These are accelerated by the presence of illegal guns in the hands of wrong elements.”[110]

In March 2002, SGS awarded Forest Stewardship Certification for the UWA-FACE tree planting project (see Chapter 6: Forestry Stewardship Council). SGS’s public summary acknowledges that people are living in some of the areas that UWA/FACE plans to plant. The report makes little mention of the conflicts between UWA and local people. The only mention of evictions in the report is a recommendation to speed up the eviction of encroachers.[111]

A new boundary and more evictions

A few days before SGS awarded UWA-FACE with its FSC certificate,[112] UWA evicted more than 300 families from Mount Elgon National Park and destroyed their houses and crops. They appealed to the government for food and shelter. Many of the people evicted camped in a local trading centre. “If we are not given assistance, we cannot leave because we have been left landless, with no food and shelter,” Maliki Mafabi one of the people evicted told New Vision. UWA’s chief warden, James Okonya, said that UWA had issued letters “warning the squatters to leave”.[113] Okonya told New Vision, “We gave these people enough time to prepare and leave the park land but they resisted. We have no option but to use force and get them out of the park.”[114]

But according to Wanale Town Council chairman (LC3),[115] Muhamad Nabuyobo, when the park boundary was marked in 1993, the disputed land was outside the park. UWA’s Okonya claimed that farmers had bribed the surveyors to move the boundary further into the park to allow their crops to remain.[116] Okonya explained that UWA had recently acquired a new Global Positioning System (GPS) which allowed the boundary to be marked more accurately. Using the GPS UWA determined that a large area of land was left outside the park in 1993 and was being used by local farmers.[117]

On 25 March 2002, New Vision reported that a total of 550 families had been evicted from Mount Elgon National Park that year. They were left “homeless and without food”. Villagers accused UWA of abandoning its previous boundary and taking over their land. “If the park needs more land for wildlife, let them follow the right procedure and buy our land,” said James Wamanga, one of those evicted.[118]

On 27 March 2002, the Ugandan Parliament approved the Protected Areas System Plan, which involved re-tracing the boundaries of all protected areas managed by UWA. The Plan was funded in part by the World Bank under the Protected Areas Management for Sustainable Use project.[119] In the case of Mount Elgon, the Cabinet decided to revert to the 1993 boundary around the Benet Resettlement Area, reducing the area from 7,500 hectares to 6,000 hectares. UWA’s Deputy Director wrote to the UWA Chief Warden in Mbale instructing that all 1983 land allocations in the Benet Resettlement Area were to be cancelled and new allocations carried out. Under the new allocations, only the Benet were entitled to be allocated land. Action Aid points out that this process was “in total disregard of the constitutional and legal provisions pertaining to land and Human Rights”.[120]

On 5 April 2002, New Vision reported that UWA’s recent re-surveying of the boundary had left more than 600 families homeless. UWA’s then-chief warden, James Okonya, said that the encroachers cut down the forest to clear the land for cultivation. He used the same arguments that the British colonists had used for preserving Mount Elgon: cutting down the forests affected the ecosystem leading to inadequate rainfall. “Mt. Elgon Park is a water catchment area on which communities that surround it from both Kenya and Uganda depend,” Okonya told New Vision.[121]

The people evicted from Mount Elgon National Park had nowhere to go and were forced to live in caves and mosques. People living in caves had to keep fires burning all night because of the cold. Some of the people evicted had lived on their land for more than 40 years. Some of the villagers even had land title certificates to their land. For example, Abdu Nabuyobo of Bukumi village in Wanale sub-county had had his land surveyed it in 1988. Their houses were destroyed and crops cut down. Bernard Mujasi, District Council (LC5) chairman in Mbale, told New Vision, “We need the park but we also need the people. The government must find a solution to this problem.”[122]

On 17 April 2002, New Vision reported that Edward Rugumayo, the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry, had ordered UWA to stop the evictions from Mount Elgon National Park. He also said in a press statement dated 9 April 2002 that UWA should not allow any new encroachers into the National Park. UWA said that about 6,000 people had illegally settled in the park in the last few years.[123]

Parliamentary committee on natural resources

In April 2002, a Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources led by Nwoya county MP, Zachary Olum, visited Mount Elgon. The committee took a hard line, announcing a Cabinet decision to revert to the 1993 boundary around the Benet Resettlement Area.[124] At a meeting with leaders from Mbale and Sironko, Jovino Akaki-Ayumu, the state minister for tourism, said that encroachers who have defied a government directive to leave the National Park would be evicted. Akaki warned people, including those who had recently been evicted from the park, not to build anything or to open up new gardens inside the park. Akaki said that UWA found out that the settlers had uprooted trees and other landmarks to shift the 1964 park boundary.[125]

Action Aid commented later that the whole area of Kapchorwa was “thrown into confusion” as a result of the Cabinet decision to revert to the 1993 boundary and the subsequent visit of the committee. The Benet were concerned at the “threat of eviction and nullification of the 20 year settlement”. The situation almost degenerated into “civil strife and breach of peace”. Action Aid added that “No consultations had been made as alleged and even the area MP was not aware of these developments.”[126] The local MP, Yeko Arap Kiisa, told the community that Parliament had resolved to degazette more land from the National Park in addition to the 6,000 hectares allocated in 1993. Kiisa told New Vision, “To me I thought the resolution of Parliament meant that more land was to be given to these people. That is what I told them.”[127]

Zachary Olum, the chairman of the parliamentary committee, took part in a meeting at Mengya trading centre in April 2002. He told the Benet that they would be resettled into the 6,000 hectare area. “This activity will nullify the current plot ownership and it means that some people may have to be shifted from the plots they have been cultivating,” New Vision reported Olum as saying.[128]

On 9 May 2002, the LC2 chairman of Benet wrote to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni petitioning him to take action. The President responded by sending Jovino Akaki-Ayumu, the minister of state for tourism to Kapchorwa, to assess and report on the situation.[129]

Akaki visited Chemamul village in Benet District and announced that people within the 6,000 hectare boundary could keep their land and develop it as they wish. Those above the 1993 line were to “maintain the status quo until the government came up with a workable way forward”. No new people were to move into the area and no new land was to be opened up. Grazing was to be restricted.[130]

But after Akaki’s visit, UWA’s park rangers continued to harass and intimidate local people.[131] In June 2002, UWA’s then-chief warden James Okonya told New Vision that the Government has resisted pressure from communities demanding land in parts of the Park in Kapchorwa district.[132]

During July and August 2002, a team hired by UWA continued to re-trace the 1993 boundary. The survey team reported that an area of more than 1,500 hectares had been encroached on in Kapchorwa district. According to the survey team, two primary schools and two trading centres had been built inside the park boundaries.[133] Almost 150 families lived on the land. UWA’s James Okonya told New Vision that the encroachers would be compensated and evicted. “The formulation and implementation of this plan is expected to take at least one year,” Okonya said.[134]

In August 2002, at a meeting between local people and UWA officials, the Benet rejected the newly resurveyed boundary of Mount Elgon National Park in Kapchorwa district. “The Benet area is a historical and original home of the Sabiny,” New Vision reported William Cheborion, the Speaker of Kapchorwa district, as saying. “If we are now being evicted from our mother home, what will happen?”[135]

In August 2002, Alex Muhweezi, the country representative of IUCN in Uganda, was in Johannesburg at the Rio+10 Earth Summit talking to journalists about IUCN’s “integrated project” which was helping to “integrate the conservation of biological diversity in the district plans”. Muhweezi apparently made no mention of any of the evictions that had taken place earlier that year, or that more people were threatened with eviction. Instead, Muhweezi praised Uganda’s efforts to restore degraded areas of Mount Elgon and New Vision reported that “Mount Elgon had been degraded but had been re-planted with forests to absorb CO2 emissions.”[136]

More conflict

Conflicts between local people and UWA rangers continued. In September 2002, UWA’s Stonewall Kato told New Vision that unknown people had destroyed more than 500 metres of the park boundary in Zesui sub-county, Sironko district.[137]

In December 2002, New Vision reported that five people were sentenced to death for attacking a park ranger at Mount Elgon. UWA rangers told the court that the five people had grabbed the ranger’s gun and tortured him before fleeing.[138]

In December 2002, the government announced that it would start resettling people from Kapchorwa the following year. State minister for tourism, Jovino Akaki-Ayumu, on a visit to Mount Elgon to open some Forest Cottages (built for tourists) said that “Funds for the relocation process have already been secured and work starts in February to March next year.” The process would enable the Government reclaim its land and embark on measures to promote tourism and conserve the environment, Akaki said.[139]

In June 2003, UWA rangers shot dead a man from Kwoti parish who was suspected of illegally sawing logs from the Mount Elgon National Park.[140]

In July 2003, New Vision reported that “armed thugs” killed a ranger and a labourer in Sironko district. The attack happened shortly after local communities had gathered to meet park officials to discuss a boundary conflict near Nataba outpost in Buluganya sub-county.[141]

In August 2003, Kapchorwa district council appealed to UWA to allow farmers to take their cattle into the national park to graze, where they would be safe from cattle raiders coming over the border from Kenya. According to the Kapchorwa Civil Society Organisation Alliance, more than 1,600 people had died as a result of cattle raids from armed cattle raiders.[142] Communities had lost more than 700,000 cattle and 500,000 sheep and goats in the raids. In addition, more than 30,000 people had been displaced.[143] Stonewall Kato, acting park warden, told New Vision that management stood by a resolution to keep pastoralists out of the park.[144]

Boundary disputes, another survey and the Benet sue UWA

In May 2003, UWA’s Natural Resource Coordinator, Edgar Buhanga told New Vision that a World Bank-funded survey of National Parks in Uganda would start in July. “The initial phase of the exercise will cover mountains Elgon and Rwenzori, Katonga and Ajai wildlife reserves. It is estimated to last three years,” Buhanga said.[145]

The following month, New Vision reported that UWA planned to hire a “competent survey firm” to redraw the boundaries of Mount Elgon National Park in Mbale, Sironko and Kapchorwa districts. UWA’s executive director, Arthur Mugisha, said UWA would launch “community sensitisation programmes” which were supposed to enable local communities living near the park boundary “to understand the relevance of the exercise in line with government policy”.[146] The Kapchorwa district council was not reassured by any of this, and in June 2003, the council asked UWA to suspend the redrawing of the boundary of Mount Elgon National Park in Piswa, Benet, Kwoti and Yatui sub-counties. The council said that the government had failed to address the concerns of the people resettled in 1983.[147]

In October 2003, the Uganda Land Alliance took the government to court on behalf of the Benet in Kapchorwa district to claim their land rights. The Benet sought a declaration stating that they were the historical inhabitants of Benet sub-county, Kween county and Kwoti parish of Tingey county. “Government has promised to come in to solve the problem. To this date we are still waiting but people are getting impatient since the harassment and uncertainty has continued,” Moses Mwanga, Benet LC5 councillor and deputy chairman of the Benet Resettlement Consultative Co-ordination Committee told New Vision.[148]

In February 2004, New Vision reported that 45 people were being held by the police in Mbale for encroaching into the National Park and destroying 1,700 trees. The trees were planted under the UWA-FACE project and marked the boundary of the National Park.[149]

In April 2004, SGS carried out a surveillance visit to Mount Elgon, to assess whether the UWA-FACE tree planting project continued to meet FSC guidelines. SGS’s public summary of the surveillance visit makes no mention of the conflicts surrounding the Mount Elgon National Park and makes no mention of the fact that the Benet were suing the government.[150] (See Chapter 6: Forest Stewardship Council.)

In June 2004, 15 MPs from around Mount Elgon appealed to the government to de-gazette the boundaries of Mount Elgon National Park. The MPs, from Kabarole, Kapchorwa, Kibale, Kisoro, Mbale and Sironko districts, met deputy Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. They told her that more than 50 people had been killed by UWA and they requested that the park monitoring role be handed over to the National Forest Authority, which is less militarised. “The boundaries were made unilaterally, displacing over 10,000 people. The wildlife people who operate there are very militarised, and have killed over fifty people. People feel that the Government favours animals more than the people,” said David Wakikona (Manjiya), after the meeting.[151]

In October 2004, UWA began surveying and marking the boundary of Mount Elgon National Park in Kapchorwa district. Moses Mapesa, UWA’s director of field operations, told New Vision that the surveying was the result of complaints raised by Jovino Akaki-Ayumu, the state minister for tourism, about increased illegal settlements and destruction of trees for timber and poles in the park.[152]

In the re-surveying process, UWA rangers destroyed people’s crops without compensation. Action Aid reports that UWA wanted to plant trees along the re-traced boundary, but was stopped by Action Aid’s lawyers.[153]

In May 2005, while UWA deployed rangers to prevent people from farming in the disputed areas of the park, farmers won a 30-day injunction stopping UWA from re-surveying the park boundary.[154] Later in the same month, the High Court dismissed an application by more than 400 farmers in Mbale to block the re-surveying of the boundary of Mount Elgon National Park. Justice J.B. Katutsi dismissed the case after the applicants and their lawyers failed to turn up for the hearing. UWA hired a firm called Geomaps to carry out the survey.[155]

Illegal logging and yet more conflicts

In May 2005, UWA rangers impounded more than 150 pieces of timber suspected of being illegally logged in Mount Elgon National Park. UWA handed the timber, a pickup truck and its driver to Kapchorwa Police for the police to carry out investigations. Two weeks later, UWA officials demanded that the Kapchorwa Police explain the fact that the timber was no longer at the police station. UWA rangers also demanded to know why the police released the man driving the pickup truck used to transport the timber. In return the police accused UWA of not recording statements when they had handed over the timber, truck and driver. District Police officer Thomson Ogole told New Vision, “Those people are very stupid. How can you impound something and expect the Police to keep it for weeks?”[156]

In May 2005, Martin Mutayi, an UWA ranger, was attacked by poachers carrying machetes in Sipi sub-county, Kapchorwa district. Mutayi lost a thumb and received a cut on his face.[157]

In June 2005, about 20 people were arrested for encroaching on Mount Elgon National Park.[158]

In July 2005, Jovino Akaki-Ayumu, the state minister for tourism, wrote to the LC5 chairman at Mount Elgon and the Resident District Commissioner. People claiming to have been evicted by UWA from Mount Elgon National Park during the re-tracing of the boundary were false claimants who were looking for money, he wrote.[159]

In September 2005, Norway and Sweden provided a grant of US$4.8 million for joint conservation exercises between Uganda and Kenya at Mount Elgon. IUCN won the contract to manage and carry out technical activities associated with the conservation activities.[160] (See Chapter 5: IUCN and NORAD.)

In October 2005, the Uganda Land Alliance condemned UWA over unlawful detentions, torture and harassment of Benet communities living on disputed land in Mount Elgon National Park. The Uganda Land Alliance also complained about UWA staff extorting money and bribes from communities.[161]

On 27 October 2005, the Benet won an important court victory. They were recognised by Uganda’s High Court as the historical, indigenous inhabitants of Mount Elgon. Justice J.B. Katutsi ruled that the Benet people “are historical and indigenous inhabitants of the said areas which were declared a Wildlife Protected Area or National Park.” He ruled that the area should be de-gazetted and that the Benet should be allowed to live on their land and continue farming it.[162]

“We are now jubilating because we have been given full rights to go on with our lives,” said Moses Mwanga, Chairperson of the Benet Lobby Group. “We are very happy for being granted our God given right. This land belongs to us and this is where we were born and this is where we have grown up. We now look forward to carrying on with our developments without any obstruction.”[163]

But just days after the High Court ruling, the Benet reported that park rangers had confiscated their animals and were demanding ransom payments.[164]

In December 2005, UWA’s executive director, Moses Mapesa, sent guidelines to all UWA staff. He wrote:

“In areas where as a result of boundary re-survey (read re-tracing and re-opening) there are communities found to be within the protected area for example Mt. Elgon, Ajai, Katoga and Bwindi, these communities must not be evicted or stopped from going on with their day-to-day activities as we await further guidance from government. . . . There should be no new encroachment or expansion of existing settlements as well as illegal harvesting of resources. In execution of your duties there should be no form of harassment whatsoever but rather coordination and collaboration with the police, RDC’s office and local council authorities of the areas.”[165]

Two months after Mapesa wrote this, Patrick Gaboi, a UWA ranger attached to the Wanale post at Mount Elgon, was arrested for allegedly torturing people and extorting money from people farming inside the boundary of Mount Elgon National Park. Gaboi allegedly tortured and extorted Sh20,000 (about US$11) from a man suspected of setting fire to a disputed section of the park. UWA’s Moses Mapesa told New Vision that the community living near the park was to blame for the dispute over the boundary. “The surveyors traced and planted boundary marks but the community would transfer the marks to create their own boundaries,” Mapesa said. “We are not going to stand in the way of the law. The truth will be documented and at the end of the day the law will prevail.”[166]

In April 2006, UWA produced a report on encroachment at Mount Elgon. David Masereka, UWA’s chief warden at Mount Elgon, told The Monitor that a total of 3,928 square kilometres of park land had been encroached. “Quite a number of UWA planted trees have and are being cut down by farmers mainly for firewood, timber and settlement,” Masereka said.[167]

In June 2006, UWA park rangers arrested 17 illegal pit-sawyers and impounded 14 saws at Mount Elgon National Park. UWA’s chief warden David Masereka told New Vision that UWA also impounded 941 pieces of timber logged by the pit-sawyers inside the national park. “It is a high time pit-sawyers identified other alternatives to making a living,” Masereka said.[168]

In early August 2006, Cox Nyakairu, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner for Mbale, asked the Mount Elgon National Park Verification Committee to investigate allegations that UWA officials rape, defile and extort money from local people found inside the park boundary. The verification committee is made up of the police and local commissions and the team investigating the allegations is to be led by the Resident District Commissioner. The investigation was as a response to complaints from the Manafwa LC5 chairman, Charles Pekke Walimbwa, who stated that two elderly men had been beaten and hospitalised on 2 August 2006. UWA’s Fred Matanda dismissed the allegations as an attempt by villagers to soil UWA’s reputation in order to justify staying inside the park boundary. He said that UWA would investigate the allegations and he challenged villagers to name the UWA staff responsible. He told The Monitor that UWA had orders from the minister of state for tourism, Serapio Rukundo, to forcibly evict any encroachers that did not leave the park within two months.[169]

UWA’s Public Relations Manager, Lillian Nsubuga, responded to the announcement of the investigation with a letter to New Vision in which she claimed that the stories about UWA staff were untrue and that “UWA has not ordered any evictions.”[170]

In August 2006, the state minister for tourism, Serapio Rukundo, set a deadline of 28 September 2006 for “encroachers” to leave Mount Elgon National Park. According to Rukundo, the deadline applies to people who entered the park after April 2002, when Parliament re-gazetted the boundaries. “Explain to our people that they should harvest their crops and vacate,” Rukundo wrote in a letter to the LC5 chairpersons of Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Kapchorwa and Bukwo. The directive followed a similar one from Rukundo’s predecessor Jovino Akaki-Ayumu who set a deadline of 28 July to leave the park.[171] While we were at Mount Elgon, in July 2006, villagers told us that they had received a deadline of 28 July 2006 after which their crops growing inside the boundary of the national park would be destroyed.

In early September 2006, Mbale district chairman Bernard Mujasi petitioned President Yoweri Museveni to intervene to help people surrounding Mount Elgon National Park who are facing eviction on 28 September 2006. Mujasi asked Museveni to stop the planned eviction. “We had suggested to the Uganda Wildlife Authority that they should produce maps showing the boundary of 1993, superimposed with the boundary of 2004/2005 so that stakeholders can use that as a basis for discussion. UWA has up to now not complied to this request, even when it was agreed upon in one of our meetings,” Mujasi told New Vision.[172]

Villagers’ struggle for land continues. In October 2006, President Museveni announced that encroachers in national parks must be resettled. Encroachment at Mount Elgon must stop, he said. “Proper assessment of the affected people needs to be done, boundaries must be properly defined and the people resettled,” Museveni was reported as saying in New Vision.[173]




Next chapter: 4. The UWA-FACE project




REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES

[50] Much of the information in this chapter comes from Ugandan newspapers. I felt that it was important to attempt to make a record of recent conflicts, in the hope that when FACE Foundation representatives next answer questions about the project or SGS’s assessors next visit Mount Elgon they might at least be aware of the seriousness of the conflicts.

[51] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, page 7.

[52] Linda Norgrove and David Hulme (forthcoming) “Confronting conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester.

[53] Mark Reed (no date) “A Comparative Review of Agroforestry Practices in Two Forest-adjacent Parishes on Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Project Elgon, Leeds University.

[54] Gershom Onyango (1996) “Local participation for the conservation and management of natural forests, Uganda“, paper presented at WB/UNEP African Forestry Policy Forum Nairobi, 29-30 August 1996.

[55] Kapchorwa District Landcare team (2006) “Kapchorwa Landcare Chapter, Kapchorwa District, Uganda“.

[56] Interviews carried out at Mount Elgon by Timothy Byakola, December 2004.

[57] Martin Meredith (2005) “The State of Africa. A history of fifty years of independence”, Simon and Schuster, London.

[58]History of Uganda“, Wikipedia.

[59] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[60] Mark Reed (no date) “A Comparative Review of Agroforestry Practices in Two Forest-adjacent Parishes on Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Project Elgon, Leeds University.

[61] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[62] 62 National Environment Management Authority (1996) “1996 State of the Environment report for Uganda“, Republic of Uganda.

[63] Linda Norgrove and David Hulme (forthcoming) “Confronting conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester.

[64] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[65] Sarah Okwaare (2004) “The fight for land rights of a minority people: The case of the Benets of Mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda“, Update Innovative Methodologies for Assessing the Impact of Advocacy, No 4, March 2004, Action Aid.

[66] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, page 9.

[67] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, page 9.

[68] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[69] Gerald Businge (2003) “The Benet To Sue Govt Over Land“, New Vision, 2 October 2003.

[70] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[71] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, page 9.

[72] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[73] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[74] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[75] The exact number of people left homeless varies depending on the source. In October 2003, New Vision reported that 561 families were left without land as a result of the re-drawn boundary at the Benet Resettlement Area (Businge, Gerald (2003) “The Benet To Sue Govt Over Land“, New Vision, 2 October 2003.).

[76] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, page 10.

[77] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, pages 9-10.

[78] Gershom Onyango (1996) “Local participation for the conservation and management of natural forests, Uganda“, paper presented at WB/UNEP African Forestry Policy Forum Nairobi, 29-30 August 1996.

[79] Paul Vedeld, Astrid van Rooij, Frode Sundnes and Ivar T. Jørgensen (2005) “Final Appraisal of the Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP)“, Noragric Report No. 25, March 2005.

[80] Moses Mwanga (2002) Presentation at the World Sustainability Hearing, organised by the Earth Island Institute, 29 August 2002.

[81] Gershom Onyango (1996) “Local participation for the conservation and management of natural forests, Uganda“, paper presented at WB/UNEP African Forestry Policy Forum Nairobi, 29-30 August 1996.

[82] Linda Norgrove and David Hulme (forthcoming) “Confronting conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester.

[83] Interviews carried out at Mount Elgon by Timothy Byakola, December 2004.

[84] David Himmelfarb (2006) “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda“, Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series. World Agroforestry Centre, Tropical Resources Institute of Yale University, and The University of Georgia, page 11.

[85] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[86] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[87] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[88] Benet Implementation Committee (1996) “Benet Resettlement Scheme Mount Elgon National Park”, Submitted to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. Unpublished. Cited in Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[89] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[90] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[91] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[92] Alan Rew, Eleanor Fisher and Balaji Pandey (2000) “Addressing Policy Constraints and Improving Outcomes in Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects“, A review prepared for ESCOR and the Research Programme on Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, January 2000.

[93] Linda Norgrove and David Hulme (forthcoming) “Confronting conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester.

[94] Linda Norgrove and David Hulme (forthcoming) “Confronting conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda“, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester.

[95] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[96] Kikonyogo Ngatya (2001) “Mt Elgon evictions cause public outcry“, New Vision, 13 February 2001.

[97] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[98] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[99] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[100] Kikonyogo Ngatya (2001) “Mt Elgon evictions cause public outcry“, New Vision, 13 February 2001.

[101] Kikonyogo Ngatya (2001) “Mt Elgon evictions cause public outcry“, New Vision, 13 February 2001.

[102] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[103] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[104]Displaced die“, New Vision, 18 September 2001.

[105] Davis Weddi (2001) “Evicted residents face bleak future“, New Vision, 4 September 2001.

[106] Josephine Maseruka (2001) “Land rows rampant in Kapchorwa“, New Vision, 23 May 2001.

[107] Jonathan Angura (2001) “3 Killed In Elgon Park Fire Exchange“, New Vision, 17 September, 2001.

[108]Rangers kill“, New Vision, 16 October 2001.

[109] James Odong (2001) “Land rows leave 10 dead in Sebei“, New Vision, 1 November 2001.

[110] James Odong (2001) “Land rows leave 10 dead in Sebei“, New Vision, 1 November 2001.

[111] SGS (2002) “Mount Elgon National Park Forest Certification Public Summary Report“, SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) Forestry Qualifor Programme, Certificate number SGS-FM/COC- 0980, page 9.

[112] The UWA-FACE FSC certificate is dated 21 March 2002 (SGS [2002] “Mount Elgon National Park Forest Certification Public Summary Report“, SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) Forestry Qualifor Programme, Certificate number SGS-FM/COC- 0980). The evictions from Mount Elgon National Park took place on 9 March 2002 (Nasur Wambedde [2002] “300 Mbale Families Plead For Govt Help“, New Vision, 14 March 2002).

[113] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “300 Mbale Families Plead For Govt Help“, New Vision, 14 March 2002.

[114] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “Evicted Wanale residents now live in caves, mosques“, New Vision, 15 April 2002.

[115] Each level of Uganda’s rural administrative structure has an elected local council. The lowest level is the village whose council is called LC1. Then comes the Parish or Ward Council, LC2, followed by the sub-county or Town Council LC3. County is LC4 and District Council, LC5, is the highest level of local government. See Bazaara, Nyangabyaki (2003) “Decentralization, politics and environment in Uganda“, Environmental Governance in Africa Working Paper Series WP #7, World Resources Institute, January 2003.

[116] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “300 Mbale Families Plead For Govt Help“, New Vision, 14 March 2002.

[117] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “Evicted Wanale residents now live in caves, mosques“, New Vision, 15 April 2002.

[118] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “Elgon Park ejects 550 families“, New Vision, 25 March 2002.

[119] UNESCO (2004) Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage, World Heritage Committee, Twenty-eighth session, Suzhou, China 28 June – 7 July 2004.

[120] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[121] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “Elgon Park Encroached“, New Vision, 5 April 2002.

[122] Nasur Wambedde (2002) “Evicted Wanale residents now live in caves, mosques“, New Vision, 15 April 2002.

[123] Gerald Tenywa (2002) “UWA ordered to stop Mount Elgon eviction“, New Vision, 17 April 2002.

[124] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[125] Nathan Etengu (2002) “Elgon settlers to be relocated“, New Vision, 15 April, 2002.

[126] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[127] Nathan Etengu (2002) “Ndorobo To Be Resettled“, New Vision, 19 April, 2002.

[128] Nathan Etengu (2002) “Ndorobo To Be Resettled“, New Vision, 19 April, 2002.

[129] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[130] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[131] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[132]Sabiny Press For Mt Elgon Park Land“, New Vision, 18 June 2002.

[133]Encroachers In Mount Elgon Park“, New Vision, 31 July 2002.

[134] Nathan Etengu (2002) “Park Encroachers Reject Boundaries“, New Vision, 14 August 2002.

[135] Nathan Etengu (2002) “Park Encroachers Reject Boundaries“, New Vision, 14 August 2002.

[136] Gerald Tenywa (2002) “Earth Summit Hails Uganda On Elgon“, New Vision, 31 August 2002.

[137]Elgon park“, New Vision, 12 September 2002.

[138]Five to hang“, New Vision, 12 December 2002.

[139] Arthur Wamanga (2002) “Government to resettle Ndorobo“, New Vision, 19 December 2002.

[140]Man killed in elgon forest“, New Vision, 21 June 2003.

[141] Rashid Muzungyo (2003) “Thugs kill, abduct Mount Elgon Park rangers“, New Vision, 14 July 2003.

[142] Nathan Etengu (2003) “K’jong kill 1,600 Sabiny – report“, New Vision, 29 April 2003.

[143] Nathan Etengu (2003) “Kapchorwa appeals to UWA on grazing“, New Vision, 11 August 2003.

[144] Nathan Etengu (2003) “K’jong kill 1,600 Sabiny – report“, New Vision, 29 April 2003.

[145]Game Parks for survey“, New Vision, 27 May 2003.

[146]UWA to reset Elgon boundaries“, New Vision, 2 June 2003.

[147] Rashid Muzungyo (2003) “Sebei Appeal On Mt. Elgon“, New Vision, 23 June 2003.

[148] Gerald Businge (2003) “The Benet To Sue Govt Over Land“, New Vision, 2 October 2003.

[149] Arthur Wamanga (2004) “45 Mbale park ‘encroachers’ detained“, New Vision, 4 February, 2004.

[150] SGS (2004) “Mount Elgon National Park Forest Management Surveillance Report. Public Summary Information“, SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) Forestry Qualifor Programme, Certificate number SGS-FM/COC- 0980.

[151] Cyprian Musoke (2004) “MPs set demands on Elgon Park land“, New Vision, 30 June, 2004.

[152]UWA surveys Elgon park“, New Vision, 21 October 2004.

[153] Action Aid (2005) “Summary of the Benet Problem“, Action Aid International Uganda.

[154] Nathan Etengu (2005) “Rangers block peasants from park“, New Vision, 18 May 2005.

[155] Nathan Etengu (2005) “Court dismisses Mbale farmers’ applications“, New Vision, 21 May 2005.

[156] Rashid Muzungyo (2005) “UWA attacks cops over timber“, New Vision, 7 June 2005.

[157] Nathan Etengu (2005) “Ranger hit“, New Vision, 30 May 2005.

[158] Nathan Etengu (2005) “20 held“, New Vision, 2 June 2005.

[159]False claims“, New Vision, 28 July 2005.

[160] Gerald Tenywa (2005) “EAC gets $4m for Mt. Elgon“, New Vision, 20 September 2005.

[161]ULA slams“, New Vision, 21 October 2005.

[162] Action Aid (no date) “Benet community in Kapchorwa win landmark case against land rights abuse“, and
Action Aid (no date) “Benet win land rights battle“.

[163] Action Aid (no date) “Benet win land rights battle“.

[164] Katie Meyer (2005) “Momentous Ruling Recognizes Land Rights of Indigenous Community“, Cultural Survival, 28 December 2005.

[165] Moses Mapesa (2006) “UWA not partisan on Mt. Elgon forest“, New Vision, 24 February 2006.

[166] Nathan Etengu (2006a) “Game ranger arrested over torture“, New Vision, 16 February 2006.

[167] David Mafabi (2006) “Mt. Elgon Park Under Depletion“, The Monitor, 25 May 2006.

[168] Nathan Etengu (2006) “Mother, children killed in landslide“, New Vision, 16 August 2006.

[169] David Mafabi (2006) “RDC Orders Investigation Into Rights Abuse in Mbale“, The Monitor, 7 August 2006.

[170] Lillian Nsubuga (2006) “UWA has evicted nobody“, New Vision, 8 August 2006.

[171] Nathan Etengu (2006) “Encroachers given date“, New Vision, 23 August, 2006.

[172] Rashid Muzungyo (2006) “LC5 appeals over Elgon evictions“, New Vision, 3 September 2006.

[173] Chris Ocowun (2006) “Museveni orders relocation of encroachers“, New Vision, 9 October 2006.

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