A total of 15 buffaloes have been killed in Katakwi District in just a period of four months, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has said.
Mr Kizza Fredrick Kayanja, the UWA chief warden for Mt Elgon conservation area, said the buffaloes were part of the 500 of them found in Teso region.
The buffaloes are believed to have escaped from Kidepo National Park in search of pasture and water and were wandering around Ongongoja and Usuk sub-counties in Katakwi.
“It is unfortunate our people in Katakwi have not learnt how to co-exist with wild animals and that’s why they are poaching them,” Mr Kayanja said on Monday.
He said in a period of three months, three people were also injured by the buffaloes, with two dying from inflicted injuries.
“The person who was recently killed by buffalo in Usuk, had at first killed the calf, then when he went for the mother, it charged and killed him,” Mr Kayanja said.
He promised stringent action against people found killing the wild animals in order to deter others.
Mr Kayanja said they are also working with the districts where the animals have settled.
“We intend to construct valley dams so that both wildlife and domestic animals have enough water,” Mr Kayanja said.
He said there are also plans to have Katakwi benefit from sport hunting. Other districts have already benefited, including Nakapiripirit, Napak, Amudat and Kween.
Mr Kayanja appealed to the districts and individuals to ensure the areas with wildlife are gazetted. He said they have already done aerial surveillance to ascertain the areas where the herds are.
In March 2017, residents of Katakwi and Amuria districts in Teso sub-region were invaded by buffaloes.
The stray buffaloes forced the residents to stay indoors for fear that they would harm them and their children as they report to school.
The buffaloes also destroyed crops.