Thursday May 15 2014

Residents flee homes as lion roams villages

By Dan Micheal Komakech

Kitgum- Several residents of Aringo-den, Apwoyo and Abudere villages in Akwang Sub-county, Kitgum District, have fled their homes following the invasion of their villages by a lion.
The beast, which is said to have come from Kidepo Valley National Park, has so far eaten two calves belonging to Mr Antony Okot, a resident of Aringo-den Village.

“The calves were eaten from the thicket where they were taken for grazing and upon analysing the footmarks, the elders identified them as that of a lion,” Mr Okot said.

He added: “My cattle have been my only source of livelihood, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) should compensate me for the loss I have incurred.”

Ms Irene Apwonyo, a resident of one of the affected villages, said some of the locals have sought refuge in the nearby sub-counties, while those who remained behind, lock themselves inside their houses by 5pm to avoid any possible attacks by the lion.

The Akwang Sub-county chairperson, Ms Santa Lamwaka, said she has notified UWA officials but nothing has been done yet to take the animal back to the park.

“Business is at stand still as many locals cannot engage in any developmental activities,” Ms Lamwaka said.

Mr Augustine Oryem, a UWA official, confirmed that a lion had strayed from the park.

“We are engaging the rangers to hunt and drive it back to the park,” he said.

Last month, a lion strayed from the park and devoured several goats in Lagut Sub-county.