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Fresh Tension As Kasese Farmers Decry Persistent Animal Raid on Their Crop Gardens

Local leaders say this is breeding conflict between the two groups that could spiral out of hand if no immediate intervention is made. Julius Masereka is one of the affected farmers in Nyakatonzi, saying the attack on their gardens is nearly forcing them to halt crop cultivation.
Conflicts between pastoralists and cultivators are Common in Kasese District

Audio 6

The persistent animal raids on crop gardens in Nyakatonzi and Nyakiyumbu Sub counties in Kasese district has raised concern among farmers and local leaders. The area is predominantly shared between Basongora pastoralists and Bakonzo cultivators.    

Cows and elephants have continuously invaded gardens in Nyakatonzi, Bwanika, kagongo, Katolho and Rwahingo villages raising fears of food insecurity among households. The farmers also claim that stray animals from Queen Elizabeth National Park and cows of the pastoralists raid their gardens.   

Local leaders say this is breeding conflict between the two groups that could spiral out of hand if no immediate intervention is made. Julius Masereka is one of the affected farmers in Nyakatonzi, saying the attack on their gardens is nearly forcing them to halt crop cultivation.  He accuses pastoralists of attempting to beat some of the farmers who question the animal invasion.

//Cue in: “Nobyoyogera naabo…     

Cue out: …nga tulundiramu.”// 

James Kasongora who has been in the farming business for the last 27 years says she is losing morale in farming because of the persistent animal raids on her gardens. She says the family is now threatened by famine because cows destroyed their sweet potato and bean gardens last month. 

//Cue in: “Ekiri kumpuniriza kiri….  

Cue out: …ha ente.”//  

Peter Kakule, another farmer says elephants coming from as far as Virunga national park have been crossing into queen Elizabeth national park and eventually into people’s gardens.

He observes the need to extend electric fencing in their area and asks the government to expedite the activation of the new UWA act. 

//Cue in: “Electric fence is…   



Cue out: ….start operating.”//    

Eric Kisembo, the Bwanika LC one Chairperson says in Bwanika and Kakonge villages alone, over 300 acres of simsim, groundnuts and Maize have been destroyed by animals.  

He says farmers in the area invest loans in their agriculture, arguing such invasions are a serious economic threat.   

//Cue in: “In my village…     

Cue out: ….and assit.”//  

Natuhamya Ham, the Nyakatonzi Sub-county councillor says that they have already identified some individuals and are working closely with the police so that they can be apprehended.

He says tension could spark a bloody conflict if no immediate interventions are made.  

//Cue in: There some identified…  


Cue out: ...was charged.”//

Patrick Byabasaija says that they have constituted a local committee to follow up on pastoralists that are letting their animals enter people’s gardens.  This committee will forward the culprits to the police for legal action. 

Peter Sunday Kakule, the LC 3 Chairperson of Nyakiyumbu sub-county, says that the area faces the threat of food insecurity. He adds that leaders are worried about the counter-accusations between the two groups that could escalate into attacks.

//Cue in: “In this period…   

Cue out: …will be affected.”//  

The Rwenzori East police spokesperson, Nelson Tumushiime, says that they are aware of the concerns, adding that police is liaising with local leaders to take action.