Stray Elephants Devastate Plantations in Kasese

4068 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
Locals say that the four elephants, from Queen Elizabeth National Park, attacked the area at around 2am today and destroyed plantations owned by Rossette Mbambu, Jackson Mutsele, Margret Kathungu, Asasio Bukombi and Jones kyakimwa.

About thirty acres of coffee, banana, cassava and mango plantations have been destroyed by stray elephants that invaded parts of Isango Sub County in Kasese district.

Locals say that the four elephants, from Queen Elizabeth National Park, attacked the area at around 2am today and destroyed plantations owned by Rossette Mbambu, Jackson Mutsele, Margret Kathungu, Asasio Bukombi and Jones kyakimwa.

One of the affected individuals, Rosette Mbambu, told Uganda Radio Network that the animals demolished part of the fence to gain entry into the plantation and crushed up to 20 acres of crops on her land.   Mbambu is now seeking compensation from Uganda Wildlife Authority.

However, the Uganda Wildlife Policy does not cater for compensation to any individual or community whose crops or property may be destroyed by stray wild animals. Often, farmers use bee's and fire to scare away the animals.

Isango Sub County chairperson Wilson Agaba faulted Uganda Wildlife Authority for failing to protect communities from wildlife yet allowing animals to stray from the park.

Agaba says this is not the first time that animals from the park have destroyed crops in the area. In 2015, a herd of elephants devastated gardens in Rwentutu village in Lake Katwe Sub County while similar incidents have happened over the years, sometimes resulting into loss of human life.

However, Olivia Biira, the conservation warden at Queen Elizabeth National Park told URN that plans were reached to deploy guards and digging trenches to deter animals from crossing to people's gardens but the strategy has not yet registered success.

Biira says that more game rangers will be deployed to ensure that farmers are rescued from the animal problem.