Boundary Clash Erupts: Apac Residents vs. NFA Over Maruzi Forest Territory

Apac Residents Seek Resolution for Maruzi Forest Issue
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Residents living around the Maruzi Central Forest Reserve in Akokoro Sub-county, Apac District, are raising concerns about the forest’s boundaries, claiming that the National Forestry Authority (NFA) has encroached onto their land used for grazing.

According to the residents, NFA expanded the forest’s boundaries beyond the land their grandparents had given to the government in 1967 and 1968. They allege that this expansion has affected at least 3,000 families.

The dispute dates back to 1986 when leaders, allegedly in cahoots with NFA officials, altered the boundaries without consulting the local community. As a result, people who had settled in the area during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency now find themselves without access to their land.

Some residents claim that the forest’s boundaries have encroached on their land, making it impossible to graze their cattle. This has led to conflicts with armed individuals sent by NFA.

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District speaker Mr. Peter Obong Achuda confirms that locals have submitted a petition regarding this issue. He has established a committee of councillors to investigate the claims, but no report has been produced yet.

NFA’s area supervisor, Ms. Juliet Auma, disputes the residents’ claims, stating that Maruzi reserve was gazetted in 1932, not 1967 as the community suggests. She advises the affected individuals to file formal complaints with the Executive Director of NFA.

Apac Resident District Commissioner, Mr. George Abdul, is puzzled by the situation and found over 272 people inside the ranch. He suggests the need to resolve the dispute by revising the boundaries.

According to NFA, Maruzi Central Forest Reserve encompasses 6,118 hectares, and Uganda boasts 506 central forest reserves covering a total of 1,265,471 hectares.

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