Over 3,000 acres of cumulated farmland in Lii, Kochgoma, Got-Apwoyo, Lungulu, Anaka and Purongo Sub-Counties were destroyed and at least 20 people were killed by marauding elephants that invade human settlements from Murchison Falls National Park in the past six months.
Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA is facing funding gaps to expedite the low solar
power electric fence installation along national park boundaries to mitigate
2018 UWA, a government agency mandated to sustainably
conserve, manage and regulate wildlife,
both within and outside the protected areas embarked on fencing 308
kilometers of park lines in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks in both Kasese and Nwoya Districts.
Vanice Mirembe, the Manager Awareness and Human-Wildlife Relations
disclosed that of the overall target, they have managed to install electric
fence poles covering a distance of about 74 kilometers around Kyenzeza in
Rubirizi, Kagarama in Kasese, Purongo and Lii in Nwoya Districts respectively.
Mirembe reveals that each kilometer of an installed electric
fence costs about 50 million shillings, and overall, to achieve the targeted
308 kilometers require approximately 1.5 trillion shillings funding to undertake
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She says apart from financial backing from Space for Giants, UWA has received funding boost from World Bank Group to additionally extend 64 kilometres of fence at Queen Elizabeth park
later but beginning with seven more kilometers of electric barrier and 17.7
kilometers in Murchison Falls before June 2022.
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In a recent interview with URN, Emmanuel Orach, the District Chairperson
explained that the wild beasts have devastated the livelihoods of the community
in Nwoya, thus threatening peace and food security of the population.
For instance, in Nwoya, at least over 3,000 acres of cumulated
farmland in Lii, Kochgoma, Got-Apwoyo, Lungulu, Anaka and Purongo Sub-Counties were
destroyed and at least 20 people were killed by marauding elephants that invade
human settlements from Murchison Falls National Park in the past six months.
In November 2021, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, the State
Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities visited the affected communities
and acknowledged that trenches were not helping end human-elephant conflict in
the area. He, however, pledged Government’s commitment to ending the
human-wildlife conflict in hotspot areas.
Problem animals across the 10 national game parks such as elephants,
baboons, buffalos, hippopotamuses and crocodiles among others have continued to
intensify human-wildlife conflict. According to UWA at least two people in
Uganda experience cases of human-wildlife conflict every day.
However, UWA has also been implementing other interventions
such as scare shooting, digging trenches, planting repellent pepper, bee-hives,
bangers and active guarding of park by rangers among others to promote
human-wildlife co-existence, but with minimal impact.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.