By witnessradio.org Team
Deep in Canan village in Kiryandongo Sub County, land hosting thousands of indigenous communities totaling to 2600 hectares was silently given out to Agilis Partners limited for agribusiness. Agilis partners is owned by Joseph Initiatives limited.
The secret give away of community land to a big company like Joseph Initiatives, which receives British tax payers’ money is costing livelihood and survival of thousands of rural women. Stella Akiteng is one of the victims who have lost it all from landownership, income generating activities, right to food and shelter among others.
Akiteng, 45, who is now homeless is in hiding after losing money she acquired from a village savings cooperative through a loan to finance her piggery project, which was destroyed and her pigs killed by workers of Joseph Initiatives in early December, 2017.
“I borrowed Uganda Shillings 2,000,000 (USD 556) from a micro finance institution to set up a piggery project around October 2017 and now the money has accumulated to over Uganda Shillings 3,000,000 (USD 834) after defaulting. I am on the run fearing to be arrested” Said Akiteng.
She says that she used part of her 14 acres of land as a collateral, which was forcefully taken by Joseph Initiatives through its company Agilis partners under the watchful eye of Kiryandongo police in November 2017 without any consultation and compensation.
Akiteng had no option but to hide from money lenders because her livelihood was disrupted. She is now lives in abject poverty and her children have since dropped out of school. Most rural women like Akiteng largely depend on substance farming and small income generating activities for survival.
Akiteng’s case does not differ from other women projects worth millions of Uganda shillings that were destroyed in the name of paving way for agribusiness in Kiryandongo district including Invisible Women group, Bengo piggery project, Zibula Aikalile poultry project, Cassava value addition project plant and Bengo maize miller.