By Guest Writer
OPINION: Last week, the media reported about the increasing safety of cattle in Buliisa district caused by unknown people in the area.
It is suspected that the people stealing the cattle and other property from the residents of Bunyoro sub-region are the people, especially the youth, who moved into the areas seeking employment in the oil and gas sector. This is because before the development of the oil and gas sector, the villages of the Bunyoro sub region lived in harmony with their property, including domestic animals and birds.
Today, many residents from the districts of Kikuube, Hoima, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Buliisa, Kibale, and others in the oil region have started regretting why the oil and gas developments are taking place in their areas because they are making daily losses of their property like cows, goats, pigs, birds, and foods from gardens because of the increased safety caused by the increased population in areas, especially the youth who went to the oil region seeking employment in the oil and gas sector.
It is noted that in 2017, when serious oil and gas activities kicked off in Bunyoro sub-region, the government of Uganda and the oil companies were spreading the news that the oil and gas sector in the region was going to create a lot of opportunities for Bunyoro people and the country at large.
This instigated many people, especially the youth, to move to Bunyoro districts, seeking jobs in the oil and gas sector.
Unfortunately, the large population that moved to the Bunyoro subregion, especially the youth, did not find the jobs that were promised to them by the government and the oil companies. This caused many of the youth in the oil region to be stacked, and many of them resorted to stealing the residents property in order to survive.
The government of Uganda needs to put in place the possible measures for combating the problems associated with increased population in the Bunyoro region. This will enable good working relationships between the government, oil companies, and the oil host communities as well.
The government of Uganda needs to put in place the possible security strategies in the oil region in order to reduce the increased safety that is taking place in the oil region and the problems associated with increased population.
If the government of Uganda and the oil companies fail to stop the vices in the oil region, the residents are likely to oppose the oil developments in the region, leading to increased poverty, food insecurity, loss of lives, and many other social problems that are associated with the increase in population.
Therefore, I call on the government of Uganda to ensure the security of the people in the Bunyoro region is protected.
The government needs to make night patrols to arrest the thieves taking people’s, cows, goats, pigs, birds, and other property. They also need to extend the police station at least 2 kilometers from each other village, ensure increased interagency, and form the Local Defense Units (LDU) to monitor the situations at night in various districts.
In addition to that, the oil and gas sector should also stop exaggerating the oil and gas opportunities. This will stop the population from running to Bunyoro to seek jobs that are not available in the oil sector.
The author is Kato Paul, a resident of Kikuube District.
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