More than 5,000 residents s from over 10 villages in three sub-counties and town councils of Kagadi District and neighboring districts are living in great fear and panic over continuous attacks by a troop of chimpanzees destroying crops and killing children.
The most affected sub-counties and town councils include, Muhorro Town Council, Kyanaisoke, Bwikara, Mpeefu, Kyaterekera all bordering Bugoma and Kangombe central forest reserve on shores of Lake Albert in Kagadi, Kikuube and Kyenjojo Districts.
Kagadi Deputy resident District commissioner Benjamin Tumusiime explains that at least four children have been injured and three killed by chimps from over ten villages of Karuswiga, Kahyoro, Nyanseke, Igulika, Kyarwakya, Kihereza, Kyamajaka, Nyankoma, Kitooga, Busoiga among others in Muhoro town council, Kyenzige and kyanaisoke sub-counties.
“When it gets to attacking our children and loss of lives, then it becomes dangerous because most of these children have been attacked on their way from either gardens, fetching water and firewood. Can they stop fetching water and firewood? The answer is no. We therefore call upon Uganda Wildlife Authority to put safe guards ,may be a wall fence so that our people get peace,” Tumusiime said.
Godfrey Nangonza, the Muhoro Town Council Mayor who cautioned residents against destruction of the environment asked UWA to also consider relocating these chimps to their natural homes in national parks and game reserves.
“Why do our people have to suffer? Whereas we are advocates for environment and caution people against environmental degradation, people can’t live in the same vicinity with the chimps. How about taking these chimps to national parks and game reserves,” Nangonza suggested.
The locals suggested that these chimps can be taken to Kibale National park, Murchison National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park among others.
However, Robert Ocaya, the supervisor Uganda wild life Authority(UWA) and Daniel Businge the senior wetland supervisor Ministry of water and environment say translocating the chimps is very expensive and urged residents to live harmoniously with chimps.
They asked the locals to desist from hunting and killing the animals as well as destroying forests and wetlands as they keep revenging due to human actions.
“We feel the pain and fear you are going through but we kindly request you to live harmoniously with these chimps . The problem is relocating these chimps to another park is very expensive and the money may not readily be available. They are not very dangerous especially if not tampered with,” Ocaya said.