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Nwoya Residents Demand Electric Fences to Confine Elephants

Such Fences would control movement of wildlife from the protected area to neighboring villages especially in the parishes of Corom, Agonga, Karl and parts of Orum where over 500 residents have 50% of their plantations destroyed by the marauding elephants, John Bosco Okullu, the LC3 chairperson Koch Goma Sub County says.

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Nwoya district residents want the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to erect electric wire fences along the Murchison Falls national park in order to minimize human wildlife conflicts in the area.

The fence is developed as a psychological barrier that uses mains or solar energy power stepped up through an energizer based on high energy. Low impotence pulse released through the wire gives a sharp short but safe shock if touched by the animals.

Such Fences would control movement of wildlife from the protected area to neighboring villages especially in the parishes of Corom, Agonga, Karl and parts of Orum where over 500 residents have 50% of their plantations destroyed by the marauding elephants, John Bosco Okullu, the LC3 chairperson Koch Goma Sub County says.

He explains that currently there are ten elephants roaming around the sub county of Koch Goma in Nwoya damaging agricultural crops and property. Trenches of up to 36 kilometers along the park that is two meters deep and wide was dug but the animals traversed through them posing a serious threat to people’s livelihoods.

He adds that several other attempts to stop the elephants have failed as they generally get used to the traditional traps and cross to community land. But instead of finding a solution to the problem, residents have been told to only plant Simsim, Tobacco and groundnuts that the elephants cannot eat.

In 2010 one person was killed and 9 others critically injured by an elephant. The elephants have also killed 23 goats and damaged 5 bicycles in the recent past. Okullu now demands that UWA should erect an electrified wire fence that will contain the animals.

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According to Okullu, the electric fences will not only scare away the elephants but also boost the fight against poaching.

James Akena a resident of Koch Goma Says that since 2006 when people returned from the internally displaced peoples camps, the elephants have been destroying crops with limited response from UWA.

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The technology has been used in neighboring Kenya where Kenya Wildlife Services has erected fences along Lake Nakuru National Park, Northern part of Nairobi National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park and Aberdare National Park.

 

But Jossy Muhangi the spokesperson UWA told Uganda Radio Network that the electric wire fence could be one of the permanent strategies to control marauding animals but it is still considered a long term measure because it’s costly.  In the interim, UWA is using cheap options like trenches to minimize incidences.

There is no law that facilitates compensation of people whose gardens have been destroyed by animals from the park.

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