Installation of Electric Fence Around Murchison Falls National Park Stalls Over Lack Of EIA Report

The installation of electric fences around Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya District has stalled due to the delayed release of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). 

Last year, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) received 5.7 billion Shillings in grants from the World Bank for the installation of electric fences stretching 101 km to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

UWA later conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment on the mapped location in anticipation to install the electric fence around the national park in areas of Nwoya District.

Bashir Hangi, the UWA Communications Manager says the report hadn’t yet been released adding that it is still under review by the World Bank.   He notes that the report will first have to meet the World Bank’s policies on the environment before being submitted to the National Environmental Management Authority for approval.

Hangi explains that besides the delayed release of the report, procurement of the necessary materials for the electric fence hasn’t yet been concluded.

He says without the EIA reports from the World Bank, they can’t carry on with the installation of the electric fence around the national park. He says work will only take off once all the process of approval has been met.

“We cannot now do construction before concluding the EIA, we will now be making a mistake, it’s wrong for us a government agency to start behaving in a way that is against the law, we are being law abiding to ensure we do the right thing,” says Hangi.

The Warden in charge of community conservation at Murchison Falls National Park Wilson Kagoro said that the delays have hindered the progress of the electric fence installation.

He says since UWA commenced installation of the electric fence in 2020, only 44 kilometers have since been covered. According to Kagoro, although they plan to fence a total of 436 kilometers around the national park with electric fences, the authority will use the Hippo Fence around areas of Pakwach district.

He however says funding shortages remain a huge setback to the planned installation of electric and Hippo fence to cover the entire national park bordering human settlement.

UWA says a kilometer of electric fence installation cost 50 million shillings.

The installation of an electric fence around the national park commenced in January 2020 following several complaints of wildlife invasion into community settlements in Nwoya and Oyam Districts that resulted in the destruction of crops, injuries, and the death of locals.

In July last year, hundreds of hectares of crops were destroyed by marauding elephants in Koch Goma and Koch Lii Sub-counties, one of the areas that have over the years seen a repeated influx of wild animals.

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