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Hippos Destroy Gardens in Kaliro district

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A section of members of the general public stand along the roadsides as they make loud noises aimed at scaring off hippopotamus from invading their farms.

Audio 5

A hippopotami invasion has triggered panic among residents of Bujeje village in Bulumba town council in Kaliro district. According to residents, three hippopotamuses have invaded their farm gardens and destroyed their crops. 

The hippopotamuses have since pitched camp in Lumbuye swamp, which serves as both a water source for the surrounding communities and rice fields.  Lumbuye is the largest swamp in Busoga sub-region, which borders Lake Kyoga in Kamuli, Kaliro and Buyende districts. 

However, whenever the water levels in the lake increase, schools of hippopotamuses advance to the shallow waters for comfort and easy access to green pastures. Statistics obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA indicate that one hippopotamus feeds on an estimated 1000kgs of vegetation per night, which threatens the extinction of crop farms and all forms of green plants within their areas of aboard. 

Speaking to URN on Tuesday, the residents say that the hippopotamus have destroyed an estimated 13 acres of both rice and maize gardens within a week’s time. Simon Jyensani, the chairperson of Bujeje village says that prior to the hippopotamus invasion, they had been exposed to crocodile attacks. 

Lusoga Audio

//Cue in: “nze ni’nze… 

Cue out…oku’mere yaisu,”.   

Eliasa Byakika, a resident within the area says that farming activities on the surviving gardens has immensely reduced since they can no longer access their gardens in the active early morning and evening hours when the hippopotamus are grazing.  

Lusoga Audio

//Cue in: “sawa bwejyituka…   

Cue out…ebula ekisigalaho,”. 

Paul Jyantume says that that UWA rangers should devise means of capturing the hippopotamus and relocate them to deeper waters away from humans.  

Lusoga Audio

//cue in: “ndimutyamye… 

 

Cue out…ejye’bagukumila,”. 

Norah Namukose says that after realizing the extent of damage on their crops, a section of community members acted out of frustration and attempted to scare off the hippopotamus by pelting them with stones in vain.  

Lusoga Audio

//cue in: “nze ekisolo… 

Cue out…mukibali,”. 

Madinah Namaganda says that the hippopotamus destroyed her newly planted one-acre maize garden early last week. Namaganda says that able bodied boys and men have since pitched camp in the gardens with the aim of scaring away the hippopotamus by making noise.  

Lusoga Audio

 

//Cue in: “twekubilile endulu…   

Cue out…obulamu bwaiffe,”.   

UWA Spokesperson, Bashir Hangi couldn’t be reached on his known numbers as his phone was switched off by the time of filing this story.