The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has handed over the site of the proposed Aquaculture Park in Apac district to the contractors to commence construction works.
The project which is aimed at improving fish production in Lango Sub Region under the‘’Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Aqua Project, PESCAP for the local Community’’ is located at Onekgwok and Teboke villages in Tarogali parish Ibuje Sub County.
According to the project design, the project meant to cover 556 acres of land will consist of 81 fish ponds, ice plants and hatcheries in the 1st phase of the project that will run for a period of 4 years. Hard Scream Logistic Limited was awarded the contract to construct the park.
The 40 Billion shillings European Union-funded project will have fish ponds which will be given out to locals in groups to manage and improve their income.
The project will also incorporate services like fish processing factory and fish feeds factory that is targeting to employ over 3,000 people.
Joyce Ekwaput, the Commissioner from Ministry of Agriculture who handed over the Construction site directed the Contractor to consider local content in order to promote the “Buy Uganda Build Uganda- BUBU slogan.
William Tukamuabwa an Economist in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Desk Officer for EU Founded project says although the project is overdue, they are now relieved with the progress.
Lillian Acen, a resident of Teboke village in Tarogali parish called for transparency during the process of running the project.
Another resident Tom Odongo believes the project once completed will improve their income but called on the district leaders to quicken the process of compensation.
The Speaker Apac District Local Government Peter Obong Acuda also the Akokoro Sub County Councillor advised the contractor to employ the local people so that they can be part of the project and benefit from it.
The Apac District Fishery Office Wilfred Mega pledged to liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure that project affected persons are compensated.
In 2018, residents surrendered 556 acres of land to pave way for the implementation of the project. Over 85% of the residents were compensated Shillings 4 billion.
However, some of the residents were not compensated to vacate the land.
Last week, over 100 residents of the area accused the district leadership of swindling money meant for their compensation. They threatened not to pave way for the commencement of the work for as long as their demands are not met.