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Relief As Court Stops Construction of Fuel Station On Gulu Wetland

Construction Works Before it was Stopped (Courtesy photo)

By Tolit Ivan

Gulu High Court on Monday issued an injunction stopping the construction of a fuel station on Pece Stream located near Cynibel supermarket in Gulu City.

The injunction follows a petition by Gulu City Council to Gulu High Court on Friday to stop the project saying it was being undertaken on a wetland. The project was being undertaken by one, Lawrence Okello, the director of Oil Energy Company Limited.

Lawrence Okello, The Director Oil Energy Company Limited. Photo by Ivan Tolit

On Friday, the developer was seen ferrying building materials and carrying out construction works without any intervention from the authorities. The developer also went ahead to deploy private security guards at the site to block any interference.

The development nearly caused unrest in the city on Sunday forcing police to swiftly deploy personnel to quell the situation.

Since 2021, Gulu City Council has been battling to the developer from establishing a fuel petrol station on land in question since it is located in a wetland.

Okello has since vowed never to back down saying his project has been approved by The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).

On Tuesday NEMA admitted it errored in the issuance of certificate of compliance to Oil Energy Company Ltd for the construction of a fuel station on Pece wetland. Acording to George Odipio, the NEMA Regional Manager Northern Uganda, the certificate was issued without site inspection blaming unscrupulous government officials for duping NEMA into making such mistake.

In 2023, Cabinet resolved that titles erroneously issued in wetlands should be cancelled.

In 2022, Legislators also called on the law enforcement authorities to consider arresting government officials who issue land titles in wetlands.

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