Nwoya, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Families in Nwoya district whose livelihoods have been devastated by stray elephants have asked the government for food aid and treatment for victims of wild animal attacks.
This follows intensified attacks by the marauding elephants in Koch Lii, Kochgoma, Purongo, Anaka, and Got-Apwoyo sub-counties that border Murchison Falls National Park. The elephants have killed 15 people and left dozens stranded with life-threatening injuries that require specialized treatment. Denis Komakech, 15, a pupil of St. Peter’s Bwobo-nam Primary School has been bedridden since 23 October 2021, after being attacked by the elephants.
The victim’s father, James Opiro, 59, a resident of Got-Onyang village, Koch Lii sub county says he is now financially constrained after spending more than 1 Million Shillings to treat the boy yet his condition is not improving. Komakech sustained debilitating injuries on his head, chest, and back.
Jackson Odyeny, a resident of Cegge village, Langelle parish was in August attacked by an elephant that was dispersed by game rangers and hid behind a hut. Odyeny says that the elephant grabbed and swung him several times before hitting him on the ground. Odyeny says his condition deteriorated since, and he requires specialized medical attention yet he is financially constrained.
Another victim, Jalon Lakony Oduk, 38, a resident of Pakawera village, Langelle Central Parish says that the elephants grazed on community gardens and as they attempted to assess the extent of the damage, a group of elephants assaulted him tearing his earlobe.
The affected residents through their Members of Parliament petitioned the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, to urgently rescue them before they languish in poverty and the injuries they have sustained.
They also shared a compilation of 3,014 acres of crops such as soybeans, maize, groundnuts, sesame, beans, millet, cassava, potatoes, and rice that have been ravaged by the wild beasts since the beginning of the year, threatening livelihoods and food security in the area.
Bahinduka requested more time to table his findings to the minister for appropriate intervention to the affected families and the entire communities affected by the invasion of wild animals.