Following reports of chimpanzee incursions into people’s precincts, the East Division Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC) in Hoima City, threatens to forcefully evict all people who encroached on wetlands in the area.
Mr William Donanto Kasigazi, says after engaging the residents of Kihemba and the neighbouring cells in East Division in a meeting, he observes that the animal invasion is triggered by encroachers on wildlife habitats that deprives the apes of their home and food.
The meeting followed complaints that residents often sight chimpanzees in their area threatening especially children mainly while at water sources besides breastfeeding mothers’ fear to lose their babies to the animals while tending to their gardens.
Mr Kasigazi wonders the environmental insensitivity among people who encroach on animal habitats well aware that by trespassing on them translates into exposing the chimpanzees to open environment without any home cover and food source for survival.
The RCC says majority of wetlands in his area of jurisdiction have been reclaimed for agriculture, settlement and economic activities like brick making and automobile washing bays among others culminating in squeezing the chimpanzees to small pockets of habitation that cannot sustain their stay there or completely pushing them out of their habitats.
Mr Kasigazi reminds people that destruction of forests and wetlands exposes them to risks of confrontation with some hostile animals that end up either brutally attacking them or destroying their food crops for survival.
He says he will liaise with the police to ascertain that at the end of this season, all encroachers on wetlands vacate or else be evicted forcefully for the protection of their life, ecosystem and chimpanzees among other wildlife.
During the meeting also attended by officials from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the residents were told to learn to live with Mother Nature for the protection of the environment including animals and plants for in order to conserve nature which is beneficial to them and for posterity.