New Vision

By Jackson Kitara

Added 16th November 2018 02:29 PM

Godfrey Lubangakene, the assistant warden for community conservation at Murchison Fall National Park said they are hiring local community to dig trenches to stop elephants from invading crops and endangering human lives.

Godfrey Lubangakene, the assistant warden community conservation Murchison Falls National Parks standing in the trench dug to stop stray elephants from destroying crops of the people living around Murchisons Falls National Park.

In order to minimize human-wildlife conflicts in the area bordering parks, Uganda wild life authority (UWA) is set to erect a perimeter electric wire fence to bar wild animals from invading gardens along parks.

According to Gesa Simplicious, the public relations officer UWA, the electric fence will be erected in the financial year 2019/2020

He said sh1b has been set aside to start fencing, but the whole project requires an estimated sh50b.

Gesa says they are partnering with Space for Giant; a Club to protect half of Africa’s remaining 415,000 elephants by 2020. He says the club donated $15,000 for erecting electric fence.

Gesa said the electric fence is one of the permanent ways of protecting wild animals and also boosts the fight against poaching.

Richard Muhabwe, the senior warden in charge of Karuma wildlife reserve/Chobe sector said UWA is doing assessment to pilot the project in areas of Latoro, bordering Murchison Falls National Park in Got Apwoyo sub-county, Nwoya district

He said they want to pilot electric fence in Latoro because the areas have not swamp

Muhabwe said the smell of crops like maize, sugar cane, sorghum, millet, bananas, mangoes, jack fruits, watermelon and climate change are the main reasons that drive elephants and other animals away from parks

Muhabwe said in a periods of two years, seven people died in River Kafu due to crocodiles’ attacks and many death and injuries cases arise from buses which knock elephants crossing roads.

Interventions

Gesa said UWA introduced 20% revenue sharing of gate entrance by tourists to support community affected by stray wild animals

He said in the financial year 2017/2018, UWA gave sh211m to Kiryandongo district local government as revenue sharing of 20% to support affected community.

He said in financial year 2015/201620% of shared revenue was used to build Abdallah Anyuru vocational institute and renovation of classroom roof at Acimi Primary School in Oyam district

Gesa said in financial year 2014/2015, the 20% shared revenue was used to build maternity ward at Diima Health Centre III, two classrooms in Nyamahasa Primary and a classroom and furniture at Dika seed secondary schools.

Godfrey Lubangakene, the assistant warden for community conservation at Murchison Fall National Park said they are hiring local community to dig trenches to stop elephants from invading crops and endangering human lives.

He said they have dug 46.7km of trenches in Kiryandongo and Oyam districts with the money from UWA fund and 20% of revenue sharing where they paid community sh8m to dig a kilometre of trench

Lubangakene said they are digging trenches of two metres wide and deep so that elephants to do not cross to community and destroy crops

He said in rocky and swampy areas, they engaged community in bee keeping and red pepper planting where they mix cow dung with red pepper and burn them to drive the elephants back to the park

Lubangakene explained that elephants are not friendly with bees and red pepper and where bees have colonialized they do not cross

He said they also planted Mauritius thorny hedge plants in the corridors where elephants and Buffaloes cross from.

“We have mobilized and recruited volunteer wild life scouts, who were trained and equipped to drive away elephants back to the park using vuvuzuela, beating objects and firing in air to scare away elephants”, Lubangakene stated.

Justine Onen Wanda, the coordinator of bee hive project Nyamahasa Parish in Mutunda sub-county Kiryandongo district says they started bee keeping project in 2010 and now they have 67 community groups from Karuma to Dika in Kiryandongo sub-county

He said they have 638 Kenya top bee hives and 1500 local bee hive along the boundary of the park.

“We have developed relationship with game rangers through bee keeping project where communities are getting income from selling honey,” Onen remarked.