Stray Elephants Force Kaabong Residents to Flee Their Homes (Uganda)



Date Published
Several residents of Kaabong district have fled their homes fearing attacks by the herds of stray elephants. Kaabong LC V Chairperson, Jino Meri, says that more than 300 elephants have migrated from Kidepo national game park into the community.

He says that the elephants have destroyed several gardens worsening the hunger situation in the district. According to Meri, the most affected are  Sidok, Lobongia, Kakamar, Loyoro Kapedo sub-counties, and Kaabong town council. “Imagine on Thursday night, elephants injured one person in his own home when the animal destroyed his house in Lobongia,” he said.

According to Meri, he sought help from Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kidepo national park but they were slow in rescuing the situation. Bosco Nangiro, a resident of Lobongia sub-county said the elephants has destroyed his 16-acre maize and sorghum garden, which was almost ready for harvest. “I had all hope that the maize and sorghum would rescue me from hunger but the elephants destroyed all the gardens in one night,” he said.

Moses Lote, another farmer said the elephants destroyed his four-acre of maize and beans garden in Loyoro. “They move even during daytime. They dont fear,” he said. Sam Amanya the chief warden officer in charge of Kidepo national park confirmed that stray elephants have destroyed crops, especially in Sidok, Kabedo, and Lobongia sub-counties.

He said they have deployed the rangers to scare the elephants with the aim of driving them back to the park. According to Amanya, the stray elephants have been living in those places since time immemorial but keep going back to the park and going back to the community. “We have deployed our rangers who are now shooting to scare the elephants to return to the park,” he said.