25 May 2006

Uganda: Mt. Elgon Park Under Depletion

Mbale — WILDLIFE at Mt. Elgon National park is facing depletion and is likely to die out, the park Chief Warden, Mr David Masereka, has said.

According to Masereka, the park neighbours have encroached on the land for farming.

Masereka, who spoke to the press last week at the National park offices in Mbale, said there was need to sensitise the people about the environment.

"Quite a number of UWA planted trees have and are being cut down by farmers mainly for firewood, timber and settlement," Masereka said.

He said research carried out by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) since the peak of politics in November last year revealed that a total of 3,928 square kilometres of the Park land has been encroached on.

He said the encroachment was triggered off by President Yoweri Museveni's pronouncement that UWA should halt evictions of people from the national parks and forest reserves until parliament reviews the policy.

The UWA encroachment report of April names the sub-counties of Bumasifwa, Wanale-Bufumbo , Bulucheke, Buwabwala, Bumbo, Bududa-Bushika, Bubiita and Busano as major culprits.

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