Wildlife threaten communities in Kitgum district

By Martha John Savior – Kitgum Uganda

Communities of Orom East and Namokora sub-counties have been living in a great fear for the past four months as wildlife from Kidepo National Game Park keeps on encroaching within communities while causing massive destruction of properties.

The LC5 of Orom East Sub-county Mr. Too Geoffrey George said the wildlife such as elephants move in groups of five as they penetrate in to farms and eat any kind of food crops they encounter like millet, potatoes, maize, sunflower and cassava among others.

He said this year’s destruction by the wildlife is estimated at around 1,500 farms compared to last year in the month of October to December when the farm destruction was only 50.

He stressed that the most affected villages are Lodwar, Lonyore, Balagit and Palakwa which are located along the Wildlife corridors.

Mr. Too further underscored that most people in the area are middle income earners who depend on what they harvest and in exchange they acquire their home basic needs. He hinted that however much they complain to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, none of the authorities have given them any clear response.

Mrs. Gethrude, the wildlife authority coordinator, when contacted told this reporter on phone that last year they had supplied the affected households with beans and posho which was not proportionate enough. For this year he noted that they are organizing some #9 million Ugandan Shillings only to access and compensate the affected households.

Mrs. Gethrude appeals to the community to be calm not to shout and panic when the animals are passing saying they fear noise and become more furious to human.

On the same note the District Resident Commissioner for Kitgum District Mr. Komakech William cautioned the community not to travel at night hours and make noise since during night hours the wild animals are more vigilant and block ways that cause accidents.

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