Nwoya Gives UWA Ultimatum over Stray Elephants

2302 Views Nwoya, Uganda

In short
The residents of Nwoya district have given a one-month ultimatum to Uganda Wildlife Authority to address the problem of marauding elephants that have invaded the area.

The residents of Nwoya district have given a one-month ultimatum to Uganda Wildlife Authority to address the problem of marauding elephants that have invaded the area.
 
The residents, numbering about 1000 households, say they are continually forced to flee their homes at night to the former IDP camps to escape attacks by the stray wild animals. They add that famine is imminent as the marauding animals have destroyed several gardens of food crops in the area.
 
The affected communities who are residents of Koch-Goma Sub County are now threatening to drive the elephants back to Murchison Falls National Park using traditional hunting weapons unless UWA takes action.
 
John Bosco Okullo, the area LC3 chairman says the elephants have become a menace to the population following a year of frequent invasions, when they stray out of the national park to destroy crops and property of the local population.  He complains that many attempts to alert government have not yielded much help.
 
//Cue in: “We have problem with wild animals…”
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Patrick Lacen, one of the farmers who lost his crops to the elephants says that the animals have invaded the villages of Lila, Orum, Tegot, Gunya, Akili and Laminato all in Koch-Goma Sub County. He adds that the animals invaded the areas over the last three months and destroyed gardens of food crops like groundnuts, beans, rice, maize, potatoes, cassava, bananas and simsim, adding that only a few game rangers have been sent to control the situation but are overwhelmed by the over ten elephants.
 
Betty Acen, another farmer complains that they are afraid to go to their gardens for fear that the elephants could attack them.  Simayo Olok, 87, advises that the elephants should be slaughtered and their Ivory used to scare them back to the national park.
 
Lilly Adong, the area MP has warned UWA to control the animals or the locals would turn on them with traditional hunting weapons. She mentioned that parts of Anaka and Purongo sub counties have also been attacked by elephants and buffaloes.
 
Andrew Seguya, the UWA director has said he is aware of the presence of elephants in some villages in Koch-Goma Sub County but added that game rangers have been deployed to drive them back to the park. Seguya explained that the elephants have been using the corridor for migration from Murchison Falls Park to Nimule Park in Southern Sudan during the time when the population was in IDP camps.