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UWA Allocates UGX 37.9m to Compensate Wildlife Victims in Agago :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UWA Allocates UGX 37.9m to Compensate Wildlife Victims in Agago

Following complaints from the victims about mass destruction by wild animals and lack of compensation by UWA, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities operationalized the Wildlife Fund in October 2022 to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflicts.
15 Apr 2024 14:39

Audio 4

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has cleared 17 people in Agago district whose crops were destroyed by wildlife for compensation. Farmers in Agago district who are at the border with Kidepo Valley Game Park have for years suffered food insecurity as their animals are destroyed by elephants and buffaloes.

Following complaints from the victims about mass destruction by wild animals and lack of compensation by UWA, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities operationalized the Wildlife Fund in October 2022 to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflicts.

 

In the Agago district, 17 out of 74 victims who registered their complaints in the first phase of compensation have been cleared for payment. Sam Mwandha, the Executive Director of UWA, said shs 37.9 million has already been set aside to compensate the 17 victims.

Mwandha warned those who are yet to file their complaints against giving false information, saying it would delay payment as verification would take longer. 

 

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Mwandha said he has received another list of 41 victims whose particulars need to be verified before they are compensated, and another list from Odom sub-county, which will be signed by the chief warden of Kidepo before it is delivered to the verification committee at the headquarters for payment in June.  

He directed complainants who have not yet filed their complaints to report to the police who will help them file the extent of the damage they suffered, before the verification committee advises how much the person should be paid.  

 

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Mwandha said UWA is set to compensate victims every three months, provided there is correct information on the victims.

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Elephants and buffalos have been destroying crops in Lapono, Omiya Pachwa, Paimol, and Adilang Sub County for three consecutive years. The first list of beneficiaries is from Kaket parish in Lapono sub-county and Lapyem parish in Adilang sub-county. 

   

Simon Ojok Odoch, the Agriculture Officer, at Adilang Sub-county listed that the wild animals have destroyed an acre of ground nuts valued at shs 900,000, an acre of sorghum at shs 420,000 an acre of maize at 420,000 and an acre of millet at shs 2.1m.

Leonard Ojok, the chairperson of Agago district, blamed the mass destruction of crops by wild animals on the laxity of game rangers. Ojok cited that there are two herds of elephants in Kaket and Kamurono parishes, but all calls to the rangers to drive them away have failed.

He appealed to the rangers to put more effort into controlling the movement of the wildlife in the community, to prevent the locals from destroying wildlife out of spite.  

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Geoffrey Oryem a victim of the wildlife destruction in Odom Central Village in Adilang sub-county commended UWA for the update on the compensation plan, saying it has been long overdue. In November 2023, the Agago District Agriculture Officer, George Okot, revealed that elephants and buffalos had destroyed over 5,000 acres of cassava gardens from 2022 to 2023.  

Okot named the areas most affected by wildlife destruction as Omiya Pachwa, Lapono, Adilang, and Lirakato. The Wildlife Compensation Scheme Regulations 2022 No.64 and the Uganda Wildlife (Revenue Sharing) Regulations 2022 No.65 were gazetted in August 2022, to give force to the compensation scheme.  

The scheme offers compensation claims for injuries, human death, or damage to property caused by a wild animal outside a protected area, as provided under Section 83 of the Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019.