John Michael Acire, a farmer in Tangi Village disclosed that together with his households they have now decided to sleep in the garden and endure the colds of the nights to drive away from the elephants from further destruction on their farmlands.
Farmers in Got Apwoyo and Purongo Sub Counties
in Nwoya district are spending sleepless nights in their farmlands due to the destruction
of their crops by stray elephants.
The two sub-counties lie across Murchison National Game Park which is home to
hundreds of elephants and other wildlife animals.
Over the past years the wildlife animals, especially marauding elephants have
invaded the areas and destroyed thousands of garden crops especially during
night hours when the farmers are not in their gardens.
Last week, herds of elephants numbering over 35 attacked Laganji Village in
Purongo Sub County and destroyed more than 200 acres of crop gardens that had
matured and were ready for harvest this week.
Among the destroyed garden crops were groundnuts, beans, maize, rice and millet
which are commonly grown in the areas for both commercial and food purposes.
John Michael Acire, a farmer in Tangi Village says that a quarter of his
one-acre maize garden that was set for harvest was eaten and trumped on by the
marauding elephants last week.
Acire disclosed that together with his households they have now decided to
sleep in the garden and endure the colds of the nights to drive away from the
elephants from further destruction on their farmlands.
Relating to the poor harvest and economic hardship, Acire now says he is not
ready to lose the toil of himself and his family to the marauding wild animals.
Acire and his four members’ households always bang containers to drive
away from the marauding elephants since they have no other alternatives.
Alex Ojera, another farmer in Purongo has for the past one week equally opted
to spend the nights in his garden following the devastation on his three acres
of maize and groundnut garden last week.
With his garden which is just three kilometres North West of Murchison National
Game Reserve, Ojera as early as 5:00 pm carries his broken jerry can and metallic
containers to bang whenever he spots elephants heading towards his garden.
Though tedious, it is widely known that elephants are fearful and allergic to
sounds and in that way they end up turning out of Ojera`s garden just like for
//Cue in: ‘’ pul ma mega…
Cue out: …ma gitye kangeta.’’//
‘’The stray elephants are disturbing
the neighbours and have not attacked him because he is now sleeping in his
garden and it is very hard to stay awake throughout the night and elephants
attack at around 5 am and people are now sleeping in their respective gardens to
Alfred Otto, a farmer in Tangi Village who made an encounter with 15 herds of
elephants in his garden last week says that the constant sleeping in the cold
and sleepless nights is now unbecoming and causing health complications.
Bosco Ojok, the Laganji village Chairperson in Purongo Sub County said that
more than 200 acres of garden crops that were ready for harvest in his area
have been destroyed by the marauding elephants in his area in the last two
//Cue in: ‘’lok pa lyeci…
Cue out: …ryemo ne tye.’’//
‘’The elephants come in a range of
many from 15 to 35 in numbers and the elephants destroy readily harvested
ground nuts and immature groundnuts which are currently being harvested.The community has started sleeping
in their farmlands which have acted as a solution to the elephants destroying
their gardens but some elephants are so fierce that they attack the farmers who
run and leave their gardens and the stray elephants have destroyed over 20
acres and his own one acre of groundnuts and so many for other community
Hanji Bashir the senior Public Relations Officer for Uganda Wildlife Authority
(UWA) told URN that he could not comment since he was attending an official
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc