UWA to relocate households to create space for chimpanzee sanctuary

The project aims to benefit both the community and the chimpanzees.

Kagadi: The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is taking commendable steps to address the challenges posed by human-wildlife conflicts in Kagadi District.

By relocating over 50 households settled within the Katyobona forest reserve, UWA aims to create space for a chimpanzee sanctuary. This initiative not only protects the natural habitat of these primates but also ensures the safety of local residents.

The LC3 Chairperson for Muhorro Town Council, Godfrey Nangonza, emphasizes the importance of trust in the relocation plan, assuring affected residents that they will be compensated and relocated to other areas.

The project aims to benefit both the community and the chimpanzees.

Residents who have experienced attacks by stray chimpanzees welcome this program. These primates have harmed children and damaged food crops, making the relocation crucial for mitigating such conflicts.

Sabira Chomongest, the deputy director of UWA, underscores the government’s commitment to compensating affected families and establishing a sanctuary.

She says the government is ready to compensate the affected families and create a sanctuary to end human-wildlife conflicts that have existed over the years.

In relation to the above, a 60-year-old widow whose home is always invaded by a chimpanzee has been forced to abandon her vegetable planting business due to the beast destroying it.

Constance Muhanuzi’s home, located in Rusembe 1 village Duhaga in Hoima West Division, was invaded by the chimpanzee in late September last year. Since then, UWA has attempted to capture the chimpanzee on four different occasions, but in vain.

Muhanuzi says that she is having difficulties getting money to look after her family since the beast’s nature of destroying and feeding on plants around her home prevents him from planting more.

She says that even people who used to go to her home to buy some vegetables have stopped since the chimpanzee invaded her home.

Muhanuzi requests the government come and take away the chimpanzee and even compensate her for the plants, animals, and birds destroyed by the beast.

When we contacted Moses Africa, the warden in charge of Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, he said that he had just received the information and that a team would be sent before the end of this week to capture the chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee invaded Muhanuzi’s home on September 29, 2023, and it resides in eucalyptus trees planted in the compound.

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