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Stray buffaloes invade Otuke district

Otuke, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Anyalima parish, Ogor sub county in Otuke district are in fear after eight buffaloes invaded their area.

The animals are believed to have strayed from Kidepo Valley National Park, located in Kaabong district, a home to over 85 species of animals which have been straying to the neighbouring districts destroying crops.

For the last two weeks, the buffaloes have been traversing Akuta, Atibiring, Apyen, Anang and the neighbouring villages where they have destroyed crops especially maize, sorghum, cassava, and sweet potatoes. Every night, the animals sleep at Itang swamp in Anyalima parish.

Locals are concerned that the continued destruction of crops by these animals will lead to more hunger following the prolonged drought which dried all the crops in the first season. They are calling upon local leaders to help them get rid of the animals.

Lilly Apio, a resident of Akuta village says the animals have eaten all her maize, sweet potatoes and cassava from the garden, and is worried that her family will suffer the same hunger they went through early this year.

Jasper Okengo, the Ogor sub county chairperson says although buffaloes are sleeping in Itang, the animals cross to other villages and destroy crops and their attempts to have Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) take the animals have been futile.

According to him, women are now afraid of going to the gardens for fear of being attacked by the animals.

Francis Abola, the Otuke district chairperson says the matter has been reported to government agencies in charge of wild animals, but they have not taken any action. He threatens to sue UWA for failing to execute their duties.

UWA haven’t commented on this story. Repeated phone calls to Bashir Hangi, the UWA spokesperson went unanswered.

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