Original source Newvision By C. Lubangakene
Farmers in Nwoya and Kiryandongo districts have volunteered to be trained in stray animal management measures. This follows persistent destruction of food crops by stray elephants from Murchison Falls National Game Park on the neighbouring communities,
At least 100 farmers attended the two-day training at the park's wildlife education centre.
The training, which ended last Thursday, was organised by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and funded by the African Wildlife Foundation.
The farmers were equipped with basic cultural methods of dealing with problem animals such as mixing burnt oil with chili and mixing cow-dung with chili. These are to be put near the gardens to prevent the animals from encroaching on them.
"We have been facing many challenges in managing problem animals. The problem started from Nwoya, but it has now spread to Kiryandongo," said Walter Odokorwot, the Murchison Falls assistant community conservation warden.
"We are greatly challenged by the lack of enough manpower to handle the problem animals in the affected areas. This is what prompted us to introduce the community wildlife scouts in the areas," he added.
Odokorwot said there are long-term plans by the Government to erect electric fences and dig trenches around the park boundaries to prevent the stray animals from crossing into people's land and destroying crops.
"But these are expensive ventures that may not be realised easily. We need to do something ourselves," Odokorwot noted.