Archaeologists from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities have revealed that the mysterious underground tunnels in Ngora could be connected to the archaeological sites in Kumi district.
The tunnels were discovered at the home of George Odeke who was digging a pit latrine, raising concern amongst residents of Kokong village and its neighbours that the tunnels could be exposing them to danger.
But after their visit to the site, archaeologists accompanied by Dr Tom Okurut, the Executive Director of the National Environment Management Authority- NEMA said that the tunnels are of scientific interest that could connect to historic events in Teso. Preliminary findings show that the tunnels are comprised of both marram and imported underground soils.
Dismas Ongwen, an archaeologist from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities says that whereas the tunnels appear longer, they cannot venture into exploring the distance until they have finished the analysis of the soils now taken for investigations in the laboratories.
Ongwen said that once the soils have been analyzed, they will embark on tracing their sources to be able to confirm whether tunnels have some connections to human activities or just earth formation.
The team also visited Kapir, Mukongoro and Nyero areas which have some archaeological sites in Teso to pick up soil samples for comparison in the laboratory analysis. Other archaeological sites in Teso include Nyero, Obwin Rock and Ngora Rock paintings among others.
Dr Tom Okurut, the Executive Director of NEMA says the old sites could help in the investigations of Kokong underground tunnels occurrence. Okurut says that ones the experts have concluded with their findings; the team will return to Kokong Village for a deeper analysis of the tunnels.
Ongwen, however, assured residents that the existence of underground tunnels don’t pose any danger to the community in Kokong village or its neighbours but cautioned residents against accessing the tunnels since some of the loose soils can be disastrous.
Bonny Ocen, one of the local leaders in Kokong says he is relieved with the preliminary findings but urged the experts to expedite their investigations to save the community from anxiety. He also revealed there is another opening discovered by a resident near Atiira Primary School, towards the rock at Kapir sub-county.