By Yosam Gucwaki
Residents of three villages in Pakanyi Sub County Masindi district have petitioned the Ministry of tourism challenging the way in which Ugx400m from Uganda World life authority (UWA) was distributed.
According to John Nyakoojo the LC1 chairperson Kiruli village, UWA sent over Ugx400m to fund the groups of the communities neighboring Murchison falls national park but to their dismay the money was inequitably distributed which prompted them to call for interference from the relevant authorities.
He added that they are disappointed to see Kyakamese parish which has only one village that is neighboring the park gets over Ugx200m and yet Kiruli parish which has more than five villages receiving only 56 million shillings.
He explained that since Kiruli Parish has the largest stretch of villages and the population along Murchison falls National Park would have been the one to receive the biggest amount of money.
According to the petition Kiruli parish is the mostly invaded by the wild animals from the park citing elephants, buffaloes, baboons, monkeys, chimpanzees among others.
It also showed that all the time people have lost crops, income and livestock into the hands of wild animals unlike Kyakamese parish which has only one village neighboring the park. The petition added that for them as group members are not ready to receive the money unless their impasse is addressed.
Members also challenged the way Pakanyi sub county authorities diverted the 20% of the money which was sent by UWA to education fund without being consulted on the matter and yet they are the people who are always disturbed by the animals.
Charles Tibahwa, a resident of Nyakarongo village who also neighbors the park noted that they are over whelmed by the rate at which elephants are invading their villages saying that even on Sunday morning over 20 elephants invaded their area.
He noted that since this year begun elephants have invaded them four times.
The petition which was signed by over 56 people was also copied to the permanent secretary ministry of tourism and world life, the chief administrative officer Masindi, the RDC Masindi, the district chairperson among others.
Commenting on their concern, Frank Asiimwe the LC3 chairperson Pakanyi sub county explained that for them they had no say on the allocation of funds to parishes saying that the allocation was done by Uganda World Life Authority basing on the population and the size of parishes.
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