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Six Elephants Destroy One Thousand Hectares Of Crops In Agago

Silvesto Asia Ali, one of the affected Farmers says he lost two hectares of Pumpkins to the stray elephants that invaded his farmland on Monday night. Some six elephants that reportedly strayed from Kidepo Valley National Park into community farmlands have been terrorizing farming communities in Luyita and Lujim parishes of Omiya Pachwa Sub county.
An elephant in Murchison Falls National Park. Photo By Stephen Okello


Several farmers in Agago district are counting heavy losses after a herd of stray elephants invaded their gardens and destroyed nearly a thousand hectares of crops.

Some six elephants that reportedly strayed from Kidepo Valley National Park into community farmlands have been terrorizing farming communities in Luyita and Lujim parishes of Omiya Pachwa Sub county.

Local leaders reported that the elephants have been roaming in the area since July this year and have since destroyed a thousand hectares of crops already.  Raymond Otim, Omiya Pachwa Sub county LCIII Chairperson confirms the destruction of  992 hectares of crops have so far by the stray elephants.

He notes that the most affected crops are cassava, sorghum, millet, sim sim and pumpkins adding that many farmers who anticipated reaping from their ventures have been left without hope.

Otim says there is looming hunger and poverty among the community since their major sources of livelihood through agriculture has been destroyed. 

Silvesto Asia Ali, one of the affected Farmers says he lost two hectares of Pumpkins to the stray elephants that invaded his farmland on Monday night.

According to Ali, he had injected shillings 300,000 in the agricultural venture and hoped to get good profits from selling the pumpkins. He says his hopes have now been shattered after the elephants' intrusion.

Ali says government should consider delivering seeds to him and other affected farmers to help them in planting in the next farming season.

Santa Akech another farmer says the stray elephants destroyed five hectares of sesame from her garden.

Akech says after injecting 700,000 shillings into the venture, she had expected to use proceeds from selling the sim sim after harvest for taking care of her children.

She is now appealing to the government to consider training more game rangers to curtail the invasion of elephants into the community.

Richard Muhabwe, the acting chief warden at Kidepo Valley National Park, says their team have been dispatched to verify the reports and conduct assessments of the damages caused by the stray elephants.

“I want to cross check to know whether there are recent reports from Omiya Pachwa from locals on invasion of elephants," says Muhabwe. "When we are informed, we usually send our team to pitch camp and drive away the elephants."

Muhabwe however says compensation guidelines for losses arising from Human wildlife conflicts haven’t yet been formulated despite it being highlighted in the UWA act of 2019, leaving them unable to pay for the damages.