Chimpanzee conservationists move to combat human-wildlife conflict in Kikuube

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In a bid to minimise human-wildlife conflict in communities around Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) has resorted to the promotion of agricultural inputs that are non-edible to vermin.

This is being done by supplying inputs to farmers at zero cost.

The initiative follows a survey conducted by the same organisation last year whose findings displayed that farmers engaged in maize, beans, cassava and sweet potato growing among other crops were losing a lot to baboons and chimpanzees among other animals.

Bulimya Community for Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Association and Munteme Parish Human Wildlife Conflict Village Saving and Loans Associations are some of the farmer groups to benefit from the initiative.

Speaking to Spice FM- a Hoima based local radio station, Ms Jenifer Atuhairwe, the Hoima district field officer for CSWCT says they have so far supplied 360 bags of Irish potato tubers and 160 tins of onions to the two associations composed of 120 farmers.

She says the initiative is aimed at helping farmers to uplift their household income and fight poverty.

According to her, this will reduce the conflict because chimpanzees which are becoming a big challenge to crops do not eat Irish potatoes.

Ms Juliet Kyokuhaire, a farmer, welcomed the initiative calling for more research about the dynamic behaviours of wild animals that will continue living side-by-side with man amid existential rise in clashes following degradation of forests in the region.

There has been an apparent rise in cases of chimpanzee attacks in Bunyoro sub-region which conservationists have attributed to deforestation which means attacking their habitat.

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