Uganda to Open the Boundaries of Mt Elgon National Park
The government of Uganda has completed its plans to re-open the boundaries of Mountain Elgon National Park so as to update ownership in an bid focused to end the unending conflicts which have been between the local neighboring communities and he Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The local leaders within this sub-region have on several occasions appealed to the government calling for its involvement in the long standing conflicts which overtime led to loss of trust, property as well as lives.
For quite a long time now, the residents living around this park have accused the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) of human harassment as well as illegal destruction of crops cultivated around this park. They claim that on several occasions, the President of Uganda has directed the rangers within this park to stop human harassment, but all in vain.
A surveyor working with the Ministry of Lands – Mr. Timothy Mutambazi, announced that the Ugandan government has designated funds to execute this exercise, starting in January and ending in February 2017. He said in a sensitization – planning meeting for the boundary re-opening which was held in Mbale at Mt Elgon Hotel that they will begin demarcating this park next year in January to obtain a permanent park boundary and they hope that this will be a great relief to the parties involved.
The chairperson of the Mt Elgon Eco-system Stakeholder’s Forum – Mr. Hussein Kato Matanda said that the boundary opening has come at the most appropriate time, considering that UWA has constantly been in conflicts with locals living around this reserve, and unfortunately some people have been injured while other even lost their lives.
some people believe in boundary demarcated in 1983, while others believe in the 1993 boundary, and then also some are in support of the 2005 boundary, so making this boundary very clear will put off a lot of confusion.
The meeting was chaired by Brig Dick Olum the 3rd Division UPDF commander who said that opening these boundaries is very critical and will require proper sensitization. He added that since some people have actually encroached on this park, this exercise will enable UWA and the local communities each to be where they rightfully ought to be.
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