Since the discovery of oil in the Albertine Graben in Uganda, the region became commercially viable and there has been a marked increase in land acquisition in the region as individuals and corporations look towards investing in the area.
This has caused a number of challenges relating to land rights for the inhabitants of the area and how to plan for most efficient use of land as the area’s population rises and the need for different amenities increases.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Emmanuel Kaganzi, calls for proper land use given the influx of the population and the rush to transact business activities especially in Hoima, Kikuube and Buliisa districts in mid western Uganda.
The commissioner says the Albertine Graben is so central a region in Uganda given its three outstanding economic activities including agriculture, tourism and oil and gas with the latter even attracting speculators there which call for proper physical planning.
Mr Kaganzi notes that the influx of people to the Albertine Graben has led to inadequate infrastructure that has called for government intervention through creating the Albertine Region Physical Development Plan meant to organise settlement and infrastructural development.
He reveals that the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is coming up with the Albertine Strategic Investment Plan to guide investment in the region adding that with the construction of the oil refinery at Kabaale in Hoima District, government will ensure that all the areas around it are properly planned for to suit urban setting.
Mr Kaganzi says the infrastructural developments and the subsequent increase in population in the region are exerting pressure on the physical planning department of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to ensure that proper planning is put in place.
The commissioner says such challenges as unprecedented increase in population, improper use of land, environmental degradation and speculation are being witnessed in Hoima, Kikuube and Buliisa districts where oil was discovered.