2 min read
02 Feb

The proposed Barifa Eco-Tourism project in Arua has become a battleground for conflicting opinions among stakeholders.

Initiated by Dennis Lee Oguzu, the Member of Parliament for Maracha County, the project has hit a roadblock as Arua City Council rejected the building plan. 

The disagreement came to a head during a stakeholders meeting on January 30th, where tensions escalated, leading to a premature end.

Dennis Lee Oguzu, the driving force behind the project, expressed his disappointment during the meeting. He revealed that Arua City Council had refused to issue a development permit, hindering progress on the Barifa Eco-Tourism site.

Oguzu, armed with a license from the National Forestry Authority (NFA), intended to transform part of the Barifa forest into a sustainable tourism destination.


Anthony Dradria from the Arua City Physical Planning Committee provided an alternative viewpoint. He clarified that the council had deferred the development plan for corrections, indicating that there were issues that needed addressing before approval could be granted. 

This stance by the committee reflects a commitment to ensuring that the project aligns with regulations and standards.


A representative from the National Forestry Authority spoke in defense of Oguzu, asserting that the MP had followed the appropriate channels to secure the license for the Barifa forest development. This endorsement from the NFA adds weight to Oguzu's position, indicating that the project has undergone due process.


Wadri Sam Nyakua, the Mayor of Arua City, echoed the sentiment that the development plan was deferred for amendments. This implies that the city administration is not outright opposing the project but seeks modifications to address concerns raised during the planning stage. Nyakua's statement hints at a willingness to collaborate for a more acceptable and sustainable outcome.


The stakeholder meeting, intended to resolve differences and reach a consensus, took an unexpected turn when some participants became rowdy. This underscores the intensity of the disagreement and the challenges faced in finding common ground among the stakeholders involved.

The Barifa Eco-Tourism project has become a source of contention, with key stakeholders holding divergent views. While Dennis Lee Oguzu is frustrated by the council's refusal to issue a development permit, the council and other stakeholders argue that the plan requires adjustments. 

The endorsement from the National Forestry Authority suggests that the project adhered to due process, adding complexity to the dispute. 

As the situation stands, finding a middle ground and addressing concerns through collaborative efforts seems essential for the successful realization of the Barifa Eco-Tourism project. 

The premature end of the stakeholder meeting only emphasizes the urgency of resolving these issues and fostering a constructive dialogue among the involved parties.

BY: Our Reporter 
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