UWA Moves to Block Elephant Movements in Kamwenge

3479 Views Kamwenge, Uganda

In short
Wilfred Chemutai, the Acting Conservation Area Manager Kibale Forest National Park says a five kilometre trench will be dug to help control elephants from straying.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) under Kibale Forest National Park is set to dig a five-kilometre trench aimed at stopping elephants from destroying crop gardens.

The communication from UWA comes at a time locals are bitter over the failure by the wildlife authority to stop animals from raiding their gardens.

Residents of Kiziba parish in  Kamwenge sub county have always paid the price when animals stray from Kibale Forest National Park.

Wilfred Chemutai, the Acting Conservation Area Manager Kibale Forest National Park says a five kilometre trench will be dug to help control elephants from straying.

According to Chemutai, the trench will be dug using the 20% revenue sharing money from the national park and more from the Face Foundation Project from Holland. 
Chemutai said the same method has been effective in all the areas neighbouring the Park where it has already been put in place.

He says that the big trench does not allow elephants to cross to people's gardens.

Chemutai says that the move which will commence at the beginning of 2017 will result into a better working relationship between locals and UWA.

Julia Kemigisha, a resident of Kiziba parish says that she has on several occasions lost her crops and the move gives her hope of utilising the garden she had decided to abandon.

Jackson Nyesigomwe, another farmer says that any move that keeps away the elephants is welcome.

He says that some people had started killing the stray animals.

Stray elephants have been a problem to communities living around national parks in Uganda.
In 2010, more than 460 farmers in Kasese district unsuccessfully sued UWA seeking compensation of more than 1.5 billion shillings in damages caused by elephants the previous year.
In the same year, communities living at the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Rubirizi district asked government to erect an electric fence around the park. UWA rejected the method on the grounds that it would kill animals.
Some farmers in Busiriba and Kahunge sub-counties in Kamwenge District have attempted to use bees as a defence mechanism against stray animals.