More than 200 acres of maize, groundnuts, finger millets, soya beans, sunflower, and potato gardens have already been destroyed by the wild animals in the villages of Lotor, Wipol, Akadojwat, Lamingonen, Umgot, Tikao, and Toboi in Gule Parish.
Orom Sub County in Kitgum District are angry with the slow response from Uganda
Wildlife Authority rangers at Kidepo Valley National Park to drive away stray
The farmers say for more than a month now, about 30 herds of elephants strayed
from the conservation area and have since been roaming within their farmlands daily.
200 acres of maize, groundnuts, finger millets, soya beans, sunflower, and
potato gardens have already been destroyed by the wild animals in the villages
of Lotor, Wipol, Akadojwat, Lamingonen, Umgot, Tikao, and Toboi in Gule Parish.
Cypriano Odur, a farmer and resident of Tiako village says he lost three acres
of maize crops in his garden following the persistent invasion of the stray
elephants leaving him with huge losses.
Odur says ever since the elephants started destroying their gardens, UWA
rangers haven’t been able to drive them away because of their few numbers.
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Odur notes that the reluctance of UWA rangers and other security personnel to
drive away the elephants have left locals with no choice but to devise their ways
of trapping and killing the elephants.
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Clement Ocen, a resident of Umgot village says that the land they are farming
on is outside the wildlife corridor. Ocen says the persistent wildlife invasion
in their area has left residents vulnerable and unable to take care of their
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although the community could resort to killing the elephants, they are afraid
of being arrested and prosecuted yet their crops are constantly being eaten by
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Denis Ojara, the LCI Chairperson of Tikao village has appealed to the
government to intervene and help the affected residents in his area.
He says the once vibrant agricultural area is now being deserted by farmers who
have consistently been making losses.
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Ojara accuses UWA rangers deployed in the affected areas of taking their time
to respond to emergency calls from the community. He adds that the rangers arrive
when the elephants have already destroyed gardens.
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Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says the district
security committee had earlier agreed to make joint deployment but the move was
frustrated by non-compliance from UWA who were to take the lead.
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//cue in: "several time we...
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But Samuel Amanya, the Chief Warden at Kidepo Valley National Park disputes the
He says that
there are ten Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers from Pader District
on guard along with four UWA rangers stationed in Tikao village. He also says
UWA has integrated wildlife scouts who are using bangers that produces loud
sounds to drive away from the elephants adding that they have been successful.
Amanya regretted the destruction adding that UWA is doing all its best to drive
away from the elephants from the human settlement areas.
Chua East Member of Parliament Margaret Lamwaka who visited the affected
farmers in Tikao village on Tuesday says she will push for compensation by UWA
to people whose crops were destroyed by stray elephants.