Questions over Ngora tunnels

There is panic in Kokong village, Kapir sub county in Ngora district after residents discovered three tunnels underground. The tunnels were discovered about three weeks ago at the home of George Odeke whose had commissioned the digging of a pit latrine in his compound.

 The tunnels spread in three different directions were discovered by Justine Okello who was digging the pit at the depth of 8.5 feet.

One of the tunnels is wide, approximately 100 meters wide while others are narrow but long channels and compacted with marram.

The bigger underground clearance is two metres high from the base in some parts while in other parts it measures between two to four meters high.

It has a prolonged channel inside said to be measuring close to one kilometer.

George Odeke, the owner of the home which hosts the pit says he started digging the pit in May before falling sick.

After some time, he hired Justin Okello to help him continue with the work but it was shocking to discover the network of tunnels underground.

Odeke explains that he spotted the area for the pit after seeing some marram on the surface since the area has soft soils.

He adds that it is the third pit at his home after he successfully dug two other pits; one measuring 12 feet in 2008 and another 15 feet pit in 2010.

He, however, notes that all the pits sunk to the ground after being in use for some time.

“The first pit latrine sunk down after one year in use while the second pit sunk down soon after it was covered, ready for use. But we didn’t find any tunnels in those two pits. I’m very surprised with what has happened in my compound,” he said.

Odeke says he is now living in fear since he doesn’t know the fate of his family.

Justin Okello, the pit excavator says he found very hard marram just at the surface, something he notes was unusual for most parts in the area.

“I almost gave up but my brother encouraged me to continue. As I penetrated through the hard marram, I discovered that the underground was hollow. After removing the soil, I found the tunnels and that scared me from continuing”, he said.

Inside, the tunnel is walled with marram which is leaking in some parts and some loose soils now falling. The loose soils are blocking another route; its length was not yet determined due to limited accessibility.

Margaret Awekonimungu, the acting district environment officer for Ngora says that it is the first time for such an incident in the district.

She says that she has contacted National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to analyze the ground in order to help explain the existence of the tunnels.

Sam Otim, a neighbor to Odeke says that the soil texture in the village doesn’t support construction of pit latrines. He also notes that some other mysterious incidents have happened in the village before, making resident more worried with the new occurrence.

Hundreds of people are now flocking Kokong village to witness this new occurrence. This has forced the police, through the RDC Ngora, Ambrose Onoria to beat some people crowding the area.

By the time of filing this story, no deployment was at the area but people continue to access and enter the pit, now treated like a tourist attraction. 


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