Elephant kills 2-year-old child in Kaabong

A stray elephant has killed a two-year-old child in Kaabong district. The deceased has been identified as Mary Ipae of Kakamar Sub County.

The child was reportedly in the field at Natalapan Resettlement Camp in Lolelia South with her mother, Betty Nakwang when they were attacked by the stray elephant over the weekend.

Nakwang is hospitalized at Kaabong Hospital in critical condition. Mathew Kubal, the Community Development Officer (CDO) in Kakamar Sub County, says the mother had gone to the garden to harvest maize when the elephant attacked.

The elephant reportedly first grabbed the child from the mother’s arms and stepped on her before pursuing the mother.

John Modo, the father of the deceased child, says Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has neither met the burial costs of his child nor treated his wife.

“My child is still lying in the mortuary and my wife is dying in the hospital. These people only care about their animals, not us human beings. If someone had injured the elephant, it would take UWA less than 30 minutes to reach here but when it comes to people, nobody cares”, Modo cried out. Modo is asking for compensation of his family.

President Yoweri Museveni assented to the wild life Act 2019, and one of the issues highlighted in the Act is the compensation of victims of wild life destruction.

“This is harvest season for our people but the gardens are far away from their residences. Some people opted to erect temporal houses in the gardens since the elephants and other animals have been destroying them. As they keep watch of their crops, wild animals also target them, especially the elephants”, he said.

Stray elephants kill a number of people in Kaabong district each year. During the planting season this year, a wife to the LC1 chairman of Kitelore village, Lokong Lochan suffered a painful death at the hands of the elephant. She was grabbed by the elephant in her garden and hit on a tree trunk several times tearing her into pieces.

Records from Kaabong Police in indicate that at least five people were killed by elephants last year. More than 70 acres of maize gardens have also been reduced to the ground by elephants in Sidok and Kakamar sub counties in Kaabong district since the year began.

Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the major tourist attractions in the country. The park has arguably the most diverse fauna including lions, leopards and bat-eared foxes, Black-backed and side-striped jackals, buffaloes, antelopes among others.

Kidepo is also home to many animal species found nowhere else in the country, including the cheetah, caracal, aardwolf, greater and lesser kudu, mountain reedbuck and Guenther’s dik-dik.