YUMBE. Land shortage and conflicts have been identified as the major factors hampering development in Yumbe district.

Speaking during the independence day celebration at Yumbe Boma ground on Wednesday, Mr Ali Keniga, the speaker of Yumbe town council who represented the chairperson at the event said there is a shortage of land in Yumbe town council that affects development in the area.

"If you want to build institutions like schools, health facilities and other projects in the town, it will be hard because there is no land in the town. We are appealing to landlords that the idea of trying to say that land should be rented by the government shouldn't be there but we should unite and offer land for development", he said.

But Mr Majid Aniku the NRM chairperson for the district said much as they are celebrating the 57th independence anniversary, cases of land conflicts are rampant in the district.

"As we enjoy the 57th anniversary, at our homes, we have conflicts over land. We want to appeal to the elders to stand firm and guide us properly over the issue of the land because the population has grown", he said.

Mr Yassin Taban, the district chairman revealed that a multi-million market construction project at Kuru has been blocked due to court injunction over land conflict.

He said some residents in Kuru sub-county have taken the authority to court over the area where the market construction is taking place and court injunction has been put in place.

"We may not proceed with the construction of the market. We may likely lose the funds for this project", he said.

He added; "this issue was done by those who think they are knowledgeable and have studied outside the district. When they come here, they don't know our networks in the district but they come and disrupt the developments in the rural areas".

Mr Richard Andama the RDC appealed to the locals to use the elders in land-related matters other than rushing to courts.

"I am aware of the rampant land disputes in the district and I realise that most of you rash to courts to address the issues of land leaving behind the elders. Let's use the elders because they are the custodians of Land," he said.

He said a lot of developments are going to take place in Yumbe but it's not okay to put court injunctions in a bid to block such projects.

"I want to tell the people of Yumbe that, we are going to have massive developments in the district. This time the World Bank has released $150bn for development, where will this money go? Who is supposed to give the land for this development? he asked. It's you so we must embrace development programs positively," he said.

The Kuru market construction project together with Lobe market are being implemented under Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) program at the cost of over UGX 700million but the work for Kuru market has been affected due to the court injunction.

Lobe market construction project has been completed and it's awaiting commissioning.