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MPs Want Uganda Wildlife Bill Expedited

Tabled before parliament in July 2017, the Uganda Wildlife Bill is meant to provide for the compensation of loss occasioned by wild animals from wildlife protected areas. Alum says that under the current provisions, the Uganda Wildlife Authority is incapacitated to handle the marauding animals and deal with compensation for loss of property arising from destruction by wildlife.

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Members of Parliament have called for the speedy consideration of the Uganda Wildlife Bill in order to manage compensation of people whose livelihood is affected by wildlife.  

Oyam Woman Member of Parliament Sandra Alum reiterated the call this afternoon in reference to persistent elephant attacks on communities neighbouring Murchison Falls National Park in Northern Uganda.  She said the livelihood of the people in areas in parishes of Cuma, Pukica, ocini, and Bobi in Kamdini Sub County has been destroyed by the roaming elephants.

Such attacks have previously been reported in the districts of Nwoya, Agago, Amuru and Kitgum. MP Alum singled out a minor who was injured by elephants over the weekend but is still languishing in the village because his family cannot afford the cost of treatment. She says that there should be a deliberate effort to protect the people from the wildlife.

Tabled before parliament in July 2017, the Uganda Wildlife Bill is meant to provide for the compensation of loss occasioned by wild animals from wildlife protected areas. Alum says that under the current provisions, the Uganda Wildlife Authority is incapacitated to handle the marauding animals and deal with compensation for loss of property arising from destruction by wildlife.

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Clause 84 of the Bill provides for compensation where a person is killed, suffers bodily injury or suffers damage to his or her crops or livestock by elephants, lions, leopards, crocodiles, buffalos, hyenas, hippopotamus, gorillas and chimpanzees.

The provision requires the affected person or his or her legal representative to submit a claim to the Wildlife Compensation Verification Committee which will review the claim and if approved, award compensation according to the obtaining market rates.

However, the bill proposes that compensation shall not be paid where the claimant fails to take reasonable measures to protect him or herself from wildlife damage.

Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamai Wamanga says elephants and animals in the parks have become a problem to communities near national parks across the country. He says it is unfair for the government to ignore these issues, saying that people's livelihoods are being lost.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah praised the MP for being vigilant and said the committees would work on first tracking the bill.

Several communities around the park have been battling problem elephants. Some locals have tried digging trenches in conjunction with UWA, while there are proposals to use electric fences and bees by Government. This is yet to be conclusive.

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