Josephine Naiga, a resident of Kikoba village in Nakitoma, says that she has been grazing and watering about 40 cows in the sanctuary. She says that since Nakasongola is a dry area, the availability of free pasture and water for their animals was a great relief to pastoralists.
Authority-UWA has rejected requests by pastoralists in Nakasongola district to graze
their animals inside Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. More than 100 pastoralists from
Nakitoma Sub County have been grazing over 3000 head of cattle inside Ziwa
Rhino Sanctuary with permission from Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranches (ZRWR),
the owners of the 16,000 acres of land and Rhino Fund Uganda, a non-government
organization that has been managing the sanctuary.
The cattle feed on
tall grass whereas the rhinos prefer short grass. The pastoralists have also
been accessing water from the valley dams constructed for rhinos. However, UWA,
which took over the sanctuary because of the misunderstanding between Ziwa
Rhino and Wildlife Ranches (ZRWR) and Rhino Fund Uganda, has blocked pastoralists
from accessing it leaving them stuck with their animals.
The pastoralists have
since appealed to UWA to allow their animals to access pasture since they are
not part of the conflicts in vain. Josephine Naiga, a resident of Kikoba
village in Nakitoma, says that she has been grazing and watering about 40 cows
in the sanctuary. She says that since Nakasongola is a dry area, the
availability of free pasture and water for their animals was a great relief to
She, however, says that
they are disappointed because of being denied access to the sanctuary because
of the conflict.
//Cue in: “Kuba ziweze…
Samuel Wandira, another pastoralist says that they are currently hiring private
land to graze their animals, which he says is costly and unsustainable. He unless
UWA grants them access to the sanctuary to graze and water their animals,
several pastoralists are likely to sell off their cattle.
Margaret Kisakye, a
resident says that several cows may end up trespassing in their gardens as they
look for pasture, which may plunge the area into food insecurity. Kisakye says
that several people bought cattle because of the availability of free pasture
at the sanctuary and are likely to suffer because of the ban.
// Cue in: “Kubanga abantu…
Cue out;…akuwadde akatebe”//
Bashir Hangi, the Spokesperson of Uganda
Wildlife Authority says that the ban is temporary to ensure maximum safety of the
Rhinos. He has advised the pastoralists to look for pasture outside the
sanctuary until the situation normalizes.
//Cue in: “even our being…
Cue out;…and graze”//
// Cue in: “Waliwo essubi lyamanyi…
UWA has also blocked tourists from accessing the sanctuary citing the safety of
rhinos and managerial challenges. Rhino Fund Uganda has since petitioned the
High Court challenging the decision by Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch Limited
and Captain Joseph Charles Roy to evict them from the 62 Square miles where it
was managing 33 white rhinos.
Rhino Fund Uganda accuses Ziwa Rhino and
Wildlife Ranch Limited and Captain Joseph Charles Roy for breach of contract
and cancellation of their license by UWA. There are over 269,000 head of cattle in Nakasongola, according to the district
veterinary office. Up to 800 cattle die per year due to severe drought in the