’’VALUE OUR LIVES’’-MASINDI RESIDENTS TELL UWA
By Yosam Gucwaki
Residents from the seven districts neighboring Murchison Falls National Park have accused the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) of valuing animal lives more than people’s lives.
Speaking during a stake holders meeting organized by UWA at country inn hotel in Masindi town, Ofoi Shaban, the LC3 chairperson for Panyimuru sub county in Pakwachi district said that many people have lost lives and crops to animals and the UWA does not respond positively something which makes people hate the park.
He added that when residents kill animals which encroach on their gardens they are always treated inhumanly, wondering why UWA considers animals to be more important than human life.
Ofoi added that the government must come out with inclusive programs that can make the communities co-exist with the animals in the park.
Edward Mapapale, the chairperson LC 3, Kiryandongo sub county in Kiryandongo district, explained that animals from the park invade their gardens and devastate them but nothing is done by UWA to help them recover their crops and the injuries inflicted on the people by te animals.
Mapapale added that there is a time when animals invaded Kijwabugingo parish and destroyed people’s gardens which forced the community members to impound the elephants and took them to the sub county headquarters something which brought about fear in the community.
Charles Ntairohoki, the chairperson LCV Kiryandongo district, asked UWA to invest more in animal control if they are to prevent the animals from roaming in people’s homes and gardens.
Ofoi Shaban, also noted that legislatures should speed up the making of the provision in the law which can allow compensation when someone loses life adding that though life cannot be reversed but these people leave behind orphans, widows and widowers who need help.