By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among has directed the Minister of State for Tourism (Wildlife and Antiquities), Hon Martin Mugarura to prioritise the safety of locals living around game parks, saying their livelihoods have been affected by the wildlife.
“We want a work plan and strategies to protect the people in those areas and it should be presented tomorrow by the senior minister. We need immediate action for all affected areas not only Karamoja,” she said.
While chairing plenary sitting on 01 September 2021, Among faulted the Ministry of Tourism for delaying to address the challenges faced by people living around national game parks.
“We sent you to the field last time, what did you do? We need you to protect lives. We told you if you need funds to fence off the affected areas, we shall give you but up-to-date, you have not come up with a plan,” she said.
Among also rejected the request by the Minister, asking for two weeks to develop a plan, arguing that there is a need for immediate intervention to save lives.
“If it means that you have to fence off the area, then do it. Two weeks is a long time yet people are being killed by animals and hunger because animals are destroying their crops,” she said.
The Speaker’s directive follows a matter of national importance NRM, Napore West County) who said that the wild animals are destroying crops and killing people.
“People are struggling with wild animals that are on a rampage. It leaves me wondering whether there are government agencies responsible for such issues,” he said.
Hoima City Woman Representative, Hon. Asinansi Nyakato said nothing has been done by the Ministry of Tourism to address the same challenges in the Hoima district.
“Last time you (Deputy Speaker) directed that the Minister of Tourism comes to Hoima for a fact-finding mission. I have been meeting him and he keeps telling me they are organizing. I want him to assure me when exactly he will come,” she said.
Hon. Solomon Silwany (NRM, Bukooli County Central) stressed the need to resolve the matter urgently, saying that government needs to find an immediate intervention.
Hon. Santa Alum Sandra (UPC, Oyam district) asked the Deputy Speaker to compel the Minister to give a specific period within which the matter will be addressed.
“Since last Parliament, we have raised this issue; you should demand that the minister specifies the date of meeting MPs and visiting the affected areas so that people have hope in elected MPs and government,” Alum said.
The Minister told legislators that the government is still working on a comprehensive plan to protect the lives of locals residing around national game parks.
“Every other day there is an issue to do with the human-wildlife conflict in this House. The suggestion would be that we carry out a harmonized programme to address this challenge,” Mugarura said.
He said that the Ministry of Tourism will visit all the affected areas within the next one month, with the aim of finding solutions to the human-wildlife conflict.