Mark Ocheng, the LCI Chairperson of Orabul village in Namokora sub-county told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Tuesday that nine elephants were sighted in their area on Monday morning.
An Elephant moves through Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya District. Photo By Julius Ocungi
Herds of elephants have invaded Kitgum district causing fear among
The elephants reportedly strayed from Kidepo Valley National Park and invaded
the sub-counties of Namokora and Orom on Monday according to reports from local
Mark Ocheng, the LCI Chairperson of Orabul village in Namokora sub-county told
Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Tuesday that nine elephants were
sighted in their area on Monday morning.
Ocheng says the elephants didn’t cause much damage in the village because
farmers had already harvested crops from the gardens. He, however, says the
elephants destroyed a grass-thatched hut in their path in the neighbouring
Masaka village but notes that the occupants were not injured.
Ocheng called for urgent intervention of Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA
officials to help drive out the elephants citing they are a threat to human
lives since 2015 when they started invading the area.
Quinto Ojwee, the LCI chairperson of mission cell also in Namokora Sub County
says several trees were destroyed by the elephants yesterday in their area.
He, however, notes that the elephants left the area by evening and headed to
Tikao Village in the neighbouring Orom sub-county.
Ojwee says the elephants’ invasion poses threats to agriculture citing that
they are bound to return once crops especially Sim Sim, sorghum which is their favorite
food is planted.
Richard Muhabwe, the acting chief warden at Kidepo Valley National Park says
they were notified by the local leaders adding that a team of wildlife rangers
have been dispatched to help drive away from the elephants.
He notes that the elephants have been straying over the years within the two
sub-counties tracing the path they have been using citing that such invasion
may be hard to stop.
“These elephants normally follow footpaths they have been using years ago.
These areas were once elephants’ corridors before people took it over for
settlements, time and again, these elephants will be following the same path,”
Muhabwe, however, cautioned, locals to be on high alert and in extremely
vulnerable cases should bang noisy or loud objects to scare away the elephants
from their areas.
Human-wildlife conflicts resulting from wild animals straying from
Kidepo valley national park into communities in Agago and Kitgum district have
been common in recent years.
Late last month, a stray hyena killed nine calves in Katum East village in
Padibe East sub-county Lamwo district. The hyena was later shot dead by Uganda
People’s Defense Forces soldiers.
Last year, several hectares of crops were destroyed in Tikao village in orom
sub-county following the invasion of elephants.