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Govt Sends Food Aid to Victims of Elephants Invasion in Kitgum

More than 300 acres of crop gardens have been destroyed since June following persistent elephant incursions in the villages of Lotor, Wipol, Akadojwat, Lamingonen, Umgot, Tikao, and Toboi in Gule Parish. Other farmlands were destroyed by the elephants in Lungayura and Lolwa Parishes.
Residents line up to recieve releife food aid in Toboi village in Orom Subcounty, Kitgum District on Wednesday.

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The government has sent food aid to 699 locals from three parishes in Orom Sub-county in Kitgum District, whose crops were destroyed by stray elephants from Kidepo Valley National Park.

The relief food aid delivered in Kitgum District through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) was distributed to the affected locals in Toboi village in Gule Parish following an outcry from locals over looming hunger. The food includes 7,000 Kilograms of maize flour and 3,000 kilograms of beans.

More than 300 acres of crop gardens have been destroyed since June following persistent elephant incursions in the villages of Lotor, Wipol, Akadojwat, Lamingonen, Umgot, Tikao, and Toboi in Gule Parish. Other farmlands were destroyed by the elephants in Lungayura and Lolwa Parishes.

John Oloya, a farmer in Tikao village says he lost three acres of maize, finger millet, and sunflower to the elephants that have consistently been passing through his farm in the past one week. Oloya says the destruction has left him with no food to feed his family of 12 children.

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Cue out…otum ki bota.”//

Denis Ojara, the LCI Chairperson of Tikao village told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the elephants caused great devastation to farmlands which threatened food security in the community. Ojara says most of the locals in the affected community are farmers who solely rely on agriculture to support their families.

He says the food relief donated to the affected locals is a good gesture towards the plight of the locals but added that more is needed from the government to compensate those who have lost their properties to elephants.

“Our people are grateful for the food but what we want next is that UWA should consider meeting our demand for compensation for the damages by the elephants since the wildlife crossed to human settlement.” says Ojara.

Margaret Lamwaka, the Chua East member of Parliament lauded the government for the relief aid delivery to the community affected by the wildlife.

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Lamwaka, however, says UWA should make a commitment to compensate the affected persons whose crops were destroyed citing the locals were far away from the conservation area.

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Cue out…must be compensated.”//

But Samuel Amanya, the Chief Warden of Kidepo Valley National Park told URN in a telephone interview that the locals have encroached on the animal corridor, and that the said area was gazetted for wildlife conservation in the 1960s and later resized in 2003.

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Cue out…into people’s gardens.”//

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