The Uganda Wildlife Authority has suspended the process of removing
marabou stork and egret nestlings from Parliament to allow the eggs to hatch
and chicks to fly.
On Monday, UWA started relocating the Marabou Storks and egrets
from the precincts of Parliament following concern from Members of Parliament
that the birds have become a nuisance and could spread zoonotic diseases.
UWA and a team from the Uganda Wildlife Education Center-UWEC destroyed a few
nests and relocated over 50 nestlings especially from National Environment
Management Authority-NEMA building in Jinja road.
UWA and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have now suspended
the process for 21 days to allow all the eggs to hatch and also the young birds
to be able to fly.
On Friday, Venice Mirembe the Manager Conservation, Education and
Awareness at UWA backtracked from the proposal to relocate the nestlings,
saying they were just too many of them to be relocated.
Mirembe who was speaking to a team from KCCA, who had been briefed
to evacuate the nestlings and destroy the nests, said that the climbers
should now only destroy nests without chickens and eggs.
She says the birds will continue nesting since Members of
Parliament are on recess, adding that they will be relocated by the time Parliament
resumes next year.
//Cue in: “We have decided…
Cue out:… most of them”//
Mirembe says that the population of the nests are over 2,000 and
trying to evacuate the nestlings is insane. He says this will be a burden
to UWEC who do not have an adequate budget to feed the birds.
//Cue in: “Because most of…
Cue out:…pick some food”//
However, when contacted, Parliament Acting Director Corporate and Public
Affairs Helen Kaweesa said that Parliament should be assured that the birds
will not lay eggs again. She, however, said that she will consult with the Clerk
to Parliament on the issues.
The move to have the birds removed follows a plea by State Minister
for Mineral Development Sarah Opendi earlier in September, to the
Parliamentary Commission to get rid of Marabou storks around the precincts
of Parliament saying they pose a health threat to the MPs.
There are an estimated 10,000 marabou storks in Kampala alone and
are instrumental in clearing garbage especially carcasses. Marabou stocks are
also largely found in the Rwenzori area.