Masaka residents restless as baboon destroys gardens

Monday February 24 2020

Ms Susan  Nassolo in her  sugar cane garden

Ms Susan Nassolo in her sugar cane garden which she claims was destroyed by the baboon. Photo by Wilson Kutamba 

By WILSON KUTAMBA

Residents of Old Kumbu Village, Kimaanya, Kyabakuza Division Masaka Municipality have expressed concern over a marauding baboon that has destroyed crops and gardens in the area .

According to Ms Suzan Nassolo, a resident of Old Kumbu Village the baboon which crosses from the nearby Kumbu forest, invades their gardens and sometimes enters people’s stalls in nearby makeshift markets to ‘steal’ yellow bananas and other edible items .

“We are actually living in fear, the baboon has been in this area for eight months, but we have not been helped, when we are away, it plays with our children,” She said on Sunday.

Ms Kellen Namujju, another resident says they have since reported the matter to local authorities including the police, but no assistance has been given to them yet.

“We formally complained to police and all district authorities seeking intervention of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), but it’s almost a year without any help,” she said.

Mr Coreb Kayiza, also a resident says they are not sure of the number of baboons marauding in the area, but those who have seen them say they are two.

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“We used to know one baboon, but it is seems they have increased in number, we appeal to government to come to our rescue or else we will hunt them down ourselves,” he said.

When contacted, Mr Bashir Hangi , the communications officer UWA advised the affected residents to report the matter to the district vermin control officer who will then seek assistance from UWA in case his team fails to handle the said primates.

“We haven’t received a formal complaint from the district vermin control officer about the primates, our Problem Animal Capture team is on standby to address such issues,” he said.

Mr Matia Kakoza, the Kimaanya /Kyabakuza Division chairperson, said the primates destroyed about two acres of maize crop belonging to Ms Kellen Namujju during the last planting season.

“I have seen it [baboon] myself, it even comes at the sub county headquarters, it is used to people and it doesn’t run away even when they chase it,” he said.

Mr Kakoza said they recently petitioned the district and a vermin control team went to Kumbu Forest, but failed to locate where the baboon is.

“If they [vermin control team] had got it, we would not be having that problem now,” he said.
Last month, wildlife authorities rescued a baboon from Karuma Town Council, Kiryandongo District. The baboon, named David Karuma was picked from the edge of “Grand Kew Garden"- Murchison Falls National Park and was relocated to Ayago, about 30km from Karuma Town.

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