Uganda: Hundreds Flee As Elephants Invade Kanungu Villages


Edson Kinene, The Monitor

Date Published

Kanungu — Hundreds of people have fled their homes in Kihiihi Sub-county in Kanungu District after a herd of about 30 elephants escaped from the neighbouring DR Congo and invaded their villages.

The elephants started straying into Uganda on Wednesday. Kihiihi Sub-county chairman Nelson Natukunda said the animals stormed Kameme, Kyenyabutongo and Kyumbuguu villages in Kibimbiri parish and Lower and Upper Kazinga in Rushoroza parish, forcing the residents to flee.About 100 homesteads have been affected.

“The people are sleeping outside their houses fearing to be attacked at night,” said Mr Natukunda.

The elephants have destroyed maize, cassava, rice, millet and sweet potatoe gardens.

Mr Natukunda said in 2009 while laying a foundation stone at Kameme Primary School, which was built during the Army Week, President Museveni promised to construct an electric fence to stop wild animals from escaping from the National Park to attack the residents but nothing has been done.

The elephants invaded the area after the President had just campaigned in the area.

One of the affected residents, Mr Fred Giriman from Rushoroza village, said his two acres of rice have been destroyed by the marauding elephants.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority Warden for Ishasha Sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mr Benon Mugyerwa, confirmed receiving information about the marauding elephants. He said UWA was tracking them down to ensure they force them deep inside the park.

“The animals have a free entry and exit from one country to another and our duty is to ensure they are protected without harming them,” Mr Mugyerwa told Sunday Monitor by telephone on Friday.