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Nwoya Leaders Ask UWA to Translocate Elephants from Murchison Falls National Park

Human-wildlife conflict in the district has lasted for over two decades as elephants invade community settlements, and destroy both staple and cash crops. The affected areas include Sub-Counties of Lungulu, Lii, Got-Apwoyo, Purongo, Anaka, Alero and Kochgoma.
30 Nov 2021 10:54

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Nwoya District leaders have petitioned the Uganda Wildlife Authority - UWA to translocate some of the elephants from Murchison Falls National Park.

The move is anticipated to reduce the population of elephants that have persistently become a challenge to the human settlements bordering the park.

Human-wildlife conflict in the district has lasted for over two decades as elephants invade community settlements, and destroy both staple and cash crops. The affected areas include Sub-Counties of Lungulu, Lii, Got-Apwoyo, Purongo, Anaka, Alero, and Kochgoma.

Justine Odong aka Ajajji, the Lii Sub-County LCIII Chairperson disclosed that attacks by elephants have been rampant in the area. Ajajji said his office has recorded 15 deaths due to attacks by marauding elephants and has destroyed more than 750 acres of crops.

Nwoya LCV Chairperson, Emmanuel Orach, says they believe there is an increased elephants population in the park perpetuating escalation of endless human-wildlife tensions which prompted them to petition UWA to consider some of the elephants to other conservation areas. 

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Orach also pointed out that for two consecutive years now, UWA has not remitted revenue proceeds from the park that would help build the resilience of affected communities, thus heightening tensions. 

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But Vanice Mirembe, the Director in charge of Awareness and Human-Wildlife Conflict at UWA downplayed increased elephants' population being attributed to the escalating human-wildlife rifts. 

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She also observed that translocating wildlife species from one area to another, especially elephants is an expensive venture that requires an adequate resource envelope.

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The leaders have also appealed for the recruitment of more wildlife scouts who should be well equipped and remunerated to respond to community alarms against the invasion of problem animals. They also appealed to UWA to introduce wildlife repellent crop species like tea and pepper to restrain the elephants.

In a recent visit to the affected sub-counties, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, the State Minister for Tourism noted the trenches dug by UWA to bar elephants from crossing park boundary into the human settlements have not helped. The beasts destroyed 3,014 acres of crops this year alone across the six sub-counties.

He directed that the installation of electric fences along the 110 kilometers of problem animal hotspots be expedited to save the population. He also assured that UWA has earmarked 779 million shillings under the revenue-sharing initiative to benefit park line communities. 

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