Hundreds of mothers and children in Lira still remain without houses to shelter them even during the rainy season following the demolition of their structures by Lira Municipal Council early last April 2017.
The Women and Children, mainly Orphans who started staying in Railway Quarters, in Railways Division, and Lira Municipality since early 2000 are apparently residing in a Lira Baptist church which to some people is so inconveniencing as the church isn’t enough to house all of them.
The piece of Land that is adjacent to Lira Regional Referral Hospital harboured more than Five Hundred Residents with over One hundred of them being mothers and children who were displaced during the Lord Resistance Army Insurgency in Northern Uganda.
Janet Akullo, one of the affected persons said that they left their homes from Barlonyo in Ogur Sub County in 1991and they have never been issued with any notice of eviction. She added that due to the demolition, she has nothing such as utensils, and iron sheets for constructing new structures since they were all destroyed in the process of demolition of the houses.
“I´ve stayed here since 1991, but the municipal authority has never issued us with any notice; Government should look at us with kindness, but not as victims of war. We even have nothing to use at the moment because they were destroyed without our notice“ Janet Akullo said.
However Rev. Penomenas Olobo, the care take taker of Baptist church were the demolition took place said they acquired the said land in early nineties and they have many residents settling on the land. He noted that as the church administrators, they are set to take Lira Municipal Council to court for their actions.
Rev. Pemanas Olwa of the same church said that Lira Municipal Council Authority permitted them to construct the church on the and way back in February 1997 from where they started providing support to the Women and Orphans whose houses were destroyed. Against this background she promised to sue Lira Municipal Council and the Senior Law Enforcement Officer Identified as Robert Okello Ayo.
´´It’s the municipality are the ones who sold the land to the church and I have all the documents that states that they are the ones who authorized us to construct here but am so disappointed in their action. For this reason am suing Lira Municipal Council and the Senior Law Enforcement officer.“
When Contacted, Lira Municipal Council´s Deputy Town Clerk, Patrick Ogweng said that the women who were settling on the Land adjacent to the Hospital were staying their illegally. He nevertheless welcomed the move by Rev. Olwa of taking them to court adding that everyone is entitled to legal rights. He added that as Municipal they are ready to Battle the matter in the courts of Law.
Mike Ogwang Veve, the Lira Municipality Mayor said that the affected persons should rather find other places to stay in as Lira Municipal Council is preparing to have the Municipality attain a city status thereby all the people who have been staying in ungarzzeted areas within the municipality premises should vacate without being forced.
Railways Quarters Village is opposite Lira Regional Referral Hospital along Lira- Ngetta- Kitgum Road and it was housing more than 500 people among whom are businessmen and women, Children, a church and the former internally displaced persons who stayed there when the insurgency was in the Northern part of Uganda with others coming from the districts of Alebtong, Otuke and Lira