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Nwoya Residents Task UWA to Expedite Installation of Electric Fence

UWA had planned to erect electric fences on the National Park’s border with the sub-counties of Purongo, Got Apwoyo, Anaka, Koch Goma, and Koch Lii all in Nwoya District.
A man looks at the section of electric fence installed around Murchison falls National Park in Purongo Subcounty in Nwoya District.

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Farmers in Nwoya District have tasked Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA to expedite the installation of electric fences along the Murchison falls National Park boundary bordering community land.

The call follows a surge in elephant invasion in the sub-counties of Koch Goma and Koch Lii where hundreds of acres of crops mainly maize, soya beans, and beans have been destroyed recently.

Although UWA had embarked on the installation of low voltage electric fences around the National Park in 2020 to deter mostly elephants from accessing community land, only a few sections have been fenced to date.

UWA had planned to erect electric fences on the National Park’s border with the sub-counties of Purongo, Got Apwoyo, Anaka, Koch Goma, and Koch Lii all in Nwoya District.

Morris Okello a farmer in Gony-cogo village in Lii Parish, Koch Lii Sub-county says that more than 40 herds of elephants that strayed from the National Park are currently roaming within their villages.

Okello says the elephants have so far eaten four acres of his soya beans out of the 16 acres adding that he is spending sleepless nights daily chasing away the stray wildlife.  He notes that the persistent crop destruction by elephants is crippling their financial progress and food security.

//cue in: “Lyeci ni gin…

Cue out:…tiye iye enu.”//

Okello however tasked the government through UWA to fast-track the installation of the electric fence to save farmers citing other areas in the neighbouring Oyam district where fences have been installed have become hospitable.

Luo

//cue in: “bot wa kany…

Cue out:…bot wa kenyo.”//

Okeny George Anywar, another farmer also in Gony-cogo Village is counting heavy losses after the stray elephants destroyed four acres of groundnuts he planted in his garden.

He said the locals have now exhausted all avenues to deter and drive away the elephants with minimal success arguing that the only way to permanently stop the elephants’ destruction is by installing electric fences. 

According to Okeny, the community members are willing to offer labour for UWA to speed up the construction of the electric fence in their area.

//cue in: “Wan ma calo…

Cue out:…acel no watyeko.”//

Koch Goma Sub-County Chairperson Francis Ojok says the problems are not any different in his area.   He says hundreds of farmers are currently spending their nights in the gardens to protect their crops from being eaten by marauding elephants and notes that the delay in erecting the electric fence is greatly affecting their productivity.

//cue in: “we have challenges…

Cue out:…of elephants kill,”//

Christopher Omara, the Nwoya Resident District Commissioner acknowledges receiving concerns about elephant invasion in Koch Goma and Koch Lii saying that the government is doing all it takes for the fences to be installed. He however asked UWA to fast-track the process to enable the community peacefully engage in agriculture.

//cue in: “I noticed that…

Cue out:…have been done.”//

Bashir Hangi, the UWA Communications Manager didn’t comment on the matter saying he was busy.

In an earlier interview with URN, Hangi noted that the installation of the fences is expensive adding that for every kilometre, the authority spends 50 million Shillings.

So far UWA has completed erecting an electric fence in sections of Kamdini Sub-county in Oyam District, Purongo, and parts of Got Apwoyo in Nwoya District.

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