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Human-Wildlife Conflicts Bother Bunyoro Farmers

In Bunyoro, Chimpanzees are found around Bugoma Forest Reserve in Kikuube district and Budongo Forest Reserve in Masindi district, among other places. The animals use small forest fragments along watercourses throughout the region, both on private or communal land and in small government reserves.

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Farmers neighbouring reserves in Bunyoro region have expressed concern over the increasing cases of Human-Wildlife Conflicts. 

The farmers majorly from Kikuube, Hoima and Masindi districts explained that they have lost their economic activities to chimpanzees. 

In Bunyoro, Chimpanzees are found around Bugoma Forest Reserve in Kikuube district and Budongo Forest Reserve in Masindi district, among other places. The animals use small forest fragments along watercourses throughout the region, both on private or communal land and in small government reserves. 

Paul Tabamanya, a farmer from Kikonda village in Kikuube district says that he lost five acres of sugarcane to chimpanzees, yet he was relying on borrowed money, with the hope that the harvest will give him a profit. 

//Cue in; “Ebitera bi ndi…

Cue out…Nda gi sasuzaki.”//    

Nelson Byaruhanga, another farmer also expressed dismay over the increasing invasion and destruction of their farms by chimpanzee saying the animals have destroyed his five acres of Cocoa plantation.  

They now want the Chimpanzee sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust to forge a way forward on how they can peacefully co-exist with the apes.  

Joshua Rukundo, the Executive Director of Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust -CSWCT blamed the increasing wildlife and human conflicts on the destruction of wildlife habitats. However, he promised to discuss the challenges with the Uganda Wildlife Authority such that farmers are helped. 

//Cue in; “obwokuba ba tandikire… 

Cue out…Thanza tiba biyita.”// 

Officials from Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust-Hoima area, said the Chimpanzees are compelled to stray into the community because all their habitats have been encroached on by the community.          

      

The Invasion of Chimpanzees in people’s gardens in Bunyoro sub-region has been a common phenomenon over the years. In January, stray Chimpanzees invaded villages in Hoima Municipality, causing panic among area residents.    

Another incident involved a Chimpanzee that invaded Kikinga village in Bugambe sub-county Kikuube district and grabbed a two months old baby in 2014 and the attack against a seven-year-old from Bwikara in Kibaale who was walking along the forest in Kibaale National Park in June 2013.

In 2009 eight Chimpanzees invaded Kamusunsi Village in Kizirafumbi sub-county wreaking havoc in the community.

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