The fence will be installed in areas whose trenches have been silted by flash-floods, gully erosion and elephant activities. Some sections will be erected to cross rivers and landscapes characterized by hard underlying rock outcrops which prevent effective trenching.
Low Voltage Electric Fences
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is set to install 30 Kilometres of
low voltage electric fencing in major human-wildlife conflict hotspots in
Murchison Falls National Park.
The fence will be installed in areas whose trenches are known to experience
high degrees of siltation by flash-floods, gully erosion and elephant
activities. Some sections will be erected to cross rivers and landscapes
characterized by hard underlying rock outcrops which prevent effective
Bashir Hangi, the Communications Manager of Uganda Wildlife Authority says
installation of the 30 Kilometres of electric fence in Murchison Falls National
Park will begin this financial year, with each Kilometre costing 50 Million
Bashir says the methods will be integrated with other methods such as beehives,
chilli growing and Community Scouts as well as de-silting trenches. He says the
fences will be used to block the flow of rivers which elephants are known to
use to access communities.
“For now, we will start with the two National Parks – Queen Elizabeth National
Park where we have so far erected 10 Kilometres of electric fence and Murchison
Falls National Park. We shall do more in Queen Elizabeth as we undertake the
one in Murchison Falls National Park as well. In both cases, communities will
provide the required labour and work with specialist contractors” he stated.
Walter Odokorwot, the Kidepo Valley Community Conservation Warden says trenches
are dug two meters deep by two meters wide and what compromises their
effectiveness include erosion of their banks by soil erosion, elephants and
sedimentation of soil matters.
“We now know that the methods work best when integrated with others because, in
swampy areas, trenches are not effective. In such areas, we need to reinforce
the trenches with strong wires as it approaches features such as rivers and
hills” Odokorwot told URN on phone from Kidepo Valley National Park.
According to Odokorwot who worked in Murchison Falls National Park as Community
Conservation Wardens that areas susceptible to community – wildlife conflicts
include Agung and Gony Cogo in Nwoya district, Norah in Lango and other parts
in Bunyoro. He says Community scouts have been trained to use Vuvuzelas to
redirect stray elephants into the parks.
Government prioritizes the control of large herbivores such as elephants,
Buffaloes and Wild pigs due to their high feed intakes. The grazers spend up to
80 percent of their time feeding – making herds highly destructive to crop
Odokorwot says UWA is also using repellents such as cocktail of Chilli, Garlic,
Onions and Nymph trees to repel elephants from crops known for attracting
elephants with their appealing scent. The fermented concoction he says is
enclosed in bottles which are placed inside gardens to repel the elephants.
A single mature individual elephant consumes between 250 and 350 kg of
vegetation and requires 110 to 190 litres of water per day. This food
requirement makes the member of the big five a danger to crops when stroked by