- Land encroachment around Fort Patiko in Gulu district, Northern Uganda may cost the tourism sector.
The continued encroachment on land around Fort Patiko, located in Northern Gulu city is threatening its potential as a beautiful rich tourism site.
Communities in Anyadwe and Omoti among others have encroached on the land near the site building houses, cultivating crops and rearing their animals.
According to the site attendant and guide Okello Ronald Onen the residents have already taken up four acres of the land claiming it belongs to them. He adds that, they have even gone ahead to cut down some of the indigenous trees.
"We are only two stuff members working here, myself and a security guard so it is very hard to monitor the entire place, we have now decided to work with The Acholi Paramount Chief, Rwot David Onen Achana II and the local council to sensitize the community about the significance of this site, he added.
Fort Patiko was built by Sir Samuel Baker in 1872 to abolish slave trade.
He planted Borassus palms and other trees, cultivated land for food and protected the Acholi people from any attacks from the Arabs.
During our recent visit of the site, under the ExploreNorth campaign by the Tourism ministry, Mr.Onen mentioned that they receive close to 200 visitors every month with majority being foreigners and school children.
"Locals are charged five thousand shillings per head, school children pay two thousand shillings, East Africa citizens’ part with ten thousand shillings while foreigners pay fifteen thousand shillings,"he added.
Hopefully in the new fiscal year 2023/2024 part of the Sh220.3b allocated to the Tourism sector will be used to solve some of these issues that may fail the number one Forex exchange earner for the country to see its glory and shine.