Identification. The Alur speak DhuAlur, a Western Nilotic language of the Lwo Group. They live in northwestern Uganda and in the neighboring parts of northeastern Zaire. The total Alur population at the time of the 1948 census was approximately 300,000. In censuses taken since then, the Alur have not been counted as a separate ethnic group, but their population can now be conservatively estimated at around half a million. Some two-fifths of the Alur live in Uganda and three-fifths in Zaire.
Location. Alur territory occupies the northwestern shores of Lake Albert and of the Albert Nile, which runs out of it. The lacustrine and riverine areas have an elevation of about 600 meters, and the land rises from the lake at a steep escarpment. Farther north, it rises more gradually to hilly plateaus, which average from 1,500 to 1,800 meters and which have the most rainfall (100 to 200 centimeters), the most fertile soil, and the densest population, as well as the coolest climate in the region. In contrast, the shore areas are very hot and humid. In Uganda, the density ranges from 25 persons per square kilometer in the lowlands to 43 in the highlands.