New Luo Language Land Conflict Manual is Launched

GULU, UGANDA- Regional religious and political leaders as well as representatives of local NGO’s and a variety of community stakeholders gathered last Friday to celebrate the launch of new Luo language land conflict manuals.  Arising from the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative’s (ARLPI) ongoing Land Conflict Mitigation Project, the idea to produce a local language resource emerged as facilitators began to realize the high proportion of Acholi region residents unable to read English.


In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), ARLPI’s Land Conflict Mitigation Project (LCMP), which began in 2009, aims to strengthen local governance through supporting and cultivating both formal and informal land dispute mechanisms as well as educating and empowering local citizens on land matters.  The educational component of this mission relies heavily on face-to-face instruction and community sensitization on land issues. 


In order to educate local communities ARLPI facilitators have distributed numerous manuals to regional stakeholders.  These manuals outline existing land laws, regulations, and structures in place to arbitrate land disputes. Until last week, however, these manuals were only available in English—despite one of ARLPI’s LCMP officers, Lokwiya Francis’, claim that only 10% of rural community leaders are able to read English. 


Speaking about the new Luo language manuals, Francis remarked, “These will be a valuable tool to carry out proper community sensitization and should go a long way towards bridging the linguistic gap that has hampered past sensitizations.”


In celebration of the momentous event, over sixty regional stakeholders gathered at the Sunnyside Hotel in downtown Gulu.  Organized by ARLPI and lasting the better part of the day, the festivities included speeches by project partners and organizers as well as