By Kefa Senoga
In a bold move that underlines a desire to further the comradeship created during student days at Uganda Christian University (UCU), the institution’s alumni have launched a project where they can buy land and settle in the same area.
The project, dubbed Alumni Villages, was introduced by a committee from the UCU Alumni Association’s Eastern Chapter to foster living in one community among former students of the institution.
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The UCU alumni, led by Paulo Katto, the eastern representative on the Alumni Association Executive, started the mobilization and purchase of over three hectares (7.4 acres) of land located in Bukomolo village, Budaka district, eastern Uganda.
According to Eriah Lule, the official in charge of publicity of the project, for one to own a piece of land in the alumni village, they pay sh1.5million (about $406) for a 50 feet by 100 feet plot of land.
Lule, who also has purchased land in the village, noted that it is a viable investment at a low cost. “Land is costly today. As a young person trying to build myself, this was a good opportunity for me to also acquire a piece of land,” Lule says.
He added that so far 76 alumni have been able to acquire plots in the area, though their target is 100 people. There are plans to establish UCU alumni villages in other parts of Uganda.
UCU’s Vision for Bukomolo Village and Beyond
Katto, the team leader of the project, said factors like accessibility and proximity were
considered before they purchased the land. People who set up structures in the village will be able to access the national grids of electricity and water, according to Katto.
In purchasing the land, Katto said they followed due process by involving lawyers, surveyors and local leaders.
Tatiana Wandar, an alumna dealing in real estate, said that the alumni have a bigger vision of developing Bukomolo village into an estate, providing all the social services that the residents would need.
The chairperson of Bukomolo village, Musa Kawiso, expressed joy at the initiative, saying: “I believe the team of UCU alumni will develop the village.”
Dorothy Amony, the UCU Mbale College secretary, said the alumni had left a mark in the development of the community and marketing of UCU as an institution.
“As the administration, we shall support you in all your ventures as the alumni association,” Amony noted.
The development comes after members of the Engineering Development Fund (EDF), an association of older students of UCU’s Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Design, in 2021 bought land in central Uganda. The land, purchased at sh42m (about $12,000) with each member contributing sh2m, was subdivided into 30 plots, with each of the 27 members taking a plot.