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UWA deploys heavily in Karamoja to fight poachers

Two rangers moving with an anti-poaching dog during patrol in a game reserve. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA has heavily deployed its personnel to fight against massive poaching that has resurrected in the Karamoja region.

Fred Pizza, the chief warden of Mt. Elgon National Park which covers up to Karamoja region says that the deployment follows the increasing cases of Karimojong locals turning on killing wild animals.

According to Pizza, the Karimojong have launched massive illegal poaching of animals especially in Matheniko Bokora and Piano Upe game reserves in Moroto and Nakapiripirit districts warning that the poachers will face it rough.

“The deployed personnel will be patrolling all the poaching corridors and any armed poacher found in the game reserve will be put out of action in case he resists arrest,” he said.

He said they started registering an increase of poaching in April when the president announced the lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19 adding that the Karimojong took an advantage of the lockdown to resume poaching.

Elijah Lobuchel, the sub-county LCIII chairperson Lokopo in Napak district pleaded with UWA not to kill poachers but arrest them and prosecute.

He confirmed that most of the locals have resorted to carrying out poaching, but as leaders, they have been sensitizing them to stop it.

“Indeed, our people are now doing poaching but we have been telling them to stop it,” he said.

According to Lobuchel, some of the people claim its hunger driving them to poach, something he said needs to be addressed.

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