Katakwi/Amuria- Residents of Katakwi and Amuria districts in Teso sub-region are living in fear after buffalos invaded their villages.
The stray buffalos have forced residents to stay indoors for fear that they would harm them and their children as they report to school.
Farmers are more affected and are counting their losses after buffaloes invaded their fields and destroyed their crops.
Mr Samuel Opolot, one of the farmers in Okoboi village in Amuria District, told this newspaper that the buffalos have destroyed his cassava garden and he is not sure how he will sustain his family in a district that was worst hit by drought.
“I planted drought-resistant cassava last year and it was sprouting well with the rains. However, it has been destroyed by the buffalos,” he said.
Ms Sarah Akiteng, another farmer from Achinga village, said she had cleared her gardens in time for the planting season but cannot risk her life due to the presence of the wild animals.
“My garden is the most affected. During day and night, buffalos are seen wandering everywhere in my garden and I can hardly plant anything,” he said.
She appealed to the Uganda Wild Authority (UWA) to help drive out the wild animals to the protected areas.
Mr Robert Okitoi, the Amuria District chairperson, confirmed the presence of the animals and called for prompt intervention.
Mr Wilson Katamigwa, the commander in charge of Matheniko and Bokora game reserves, confirmed that more than 300 buffalos have left the game reserves and crossed over to Teso region in search of water and pasture.
According to Mr Katamigwa, UWA has deployed it’s rangers to the corridors separating people’s farms from the protected reserves.
He also noted that the community has so far killed about eight buffalos warning that they might in return harm them.
“We are aware about the animals crossing to Teso and they are not dangerous unless provoked. We are working hard to ensure that people are not attacked by the animals,” he said.