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Buikwe residents take on UWA as crocodiles kill six people in two months

UWA officials capture man-eating crocodile at the shores of Lake Victoria in 2014. The fishing community in Buikwe District have blamed the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for negligence as the plight of residents is threatened by crocodiles(COURTESY PHOTO)

BUIKWE – The fishing community in Buikwe District have blamed the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for neglecting the plight of residents threatened by crocodiles.

The crocodiles have reportedly killed six people from different parts of the district in a space of two months. The marauding reptiles also threaten the lives of residents who fetch water at some water sources.

They have reportedly claimed the lives of four people at Lukonda landing site in Ngogwe Sub-County and another two at Kigaya landing site in Najja Sub- County along the shores of the Lake Victoria.

Mr Stuart Mutebi, a fisherman at Kigaya landing site said they no longer use the lake because of the deadly crocodiles that have become a problem on the lake.

“We no longer bath, fish or get water from the lake because the crocodile has killed our people like Willy, Wilberforce, a white man and another one tried to fight with it and he escaped death,” Mr Mutebi said during an interview on Tuesday.

He urged the government to help them because the crocodiles are still killing residents and they do not know how to trap them.

“There has been a public outcry of crocodiles eating people, but Uganda Wildlife Authority(UWA) officials have not helped us.Let them intervene because we are mere fishermen who lack experience in trapping crocodiles,” he added

Mr Majid Lule, a fisherman at Kigaya Landing Site, said they could have trapped the crocodiles but they are not authorised to do so.

“We are not allowed to trap crocodiles yet they kill our people. Some of the body parts are found after some days of search in the nearby bushes, in the latest incident, we only buried dismembered body parts of the victim ” Mr Male said.

Madinah Nakimaka, 21 a wife to Mr Elfansi Mwanda, who was killed by a crocodile at Lukonda landing site in Ngogwe Sub- County said that her husband was killed by a crocodile when he had gone for fishing in the morning hours.

“He went fishing at around 5 am on the fateful day, but it was around 6 am someone called me that my husband is making an alarm it seems the crocodile has attacked him. We looked for him the entire day, in vain until the following day on Thursday, we found his body parts in the bush and that is what we buried” Ms Nakimaka, said

Ms Jane Francis Kagayi, the Buikwe Resident District commissioner, said that the fishing community should be sensitized by the UWA about the deadly crocodiles. “Our people need to be sensitized to be cautious, UWA should also do research to find out whether these landing sites have a lot of crocodiles so that they can be gazetted,” the RDC said.

Mr Mathias Kigongo, Buikwe District chairperson said they recently called experts from UWA to trap the crocodiles but they failed to trace any.

“The Uganda Wild Life Authority has been slow in responding to the threats. When they came, they did not get any crocodiles, but a day after they had left, they killed another person. We want to write to the line Ministry to find the easiest way of helping our people especially those near the lake,” Mr Kigongo said.

UWA Communications Manager, Mr Bashir Hangi said local leaders in Buikwe have not formally complained to UWA.

“Sometimes they [local leaders] do not actually approach us, but you need to appreciate that people are on the lake shores and therefore crocodile attacks are unavoidable, there is no doubt about that,” he said

He said UWA will soon dispatch its stand by Problem Animal Staff ready to trap the reptiles

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