Janet Pimungu Berochan, 40, a resident of Waiga village in Bugana parish, Buliisa sub-county, Buliisa district, died after an elephant attacked her when she and her two children went to collect firewood near a protected area on June 20, 2023.
According to Mr. Kamanda Kabagambe, the local government chairman of Buliisa Sub-county, the mother of seven and her children were chased down, overtaken, and mortally wounded in the belly by the elephant.
“The matter came to public attention when the deceased’s children ran fast back home, where they told the neighbors, who in turn informed the authorities, who rushed to the scene and found Berochan’s lifeless body lying in a pool of blood with the intestines spilled out,” Kabagambe said.
Kabagambe has called upon the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and all government players to act quickly to salvage the lives, property, and crops of people neighboring the game park. He also criticized UWA officials for propagating the message of co-existence between people and wild animals, which have on many a day proved deadly to human life.
“I argued that though UWA condoles with bereaved families by contributing Shs2 million for burial expenses, it is more important to protect people from being mauled and killed by wild animals,” Kabagambe said.
Kabagambe asked UWA to speed up the process of encircling the game park with an electrified fence to prevent the animals from assaulting people.
Mr. Michael Okumu, a resident of Waiga village, said many people neighboring the protected area have had their lives claimed and their crops destroyed by stray elephants in the area.
“We are losing a lot of people in our areas, and so far, this is the fourth person to be killed by an elephant. There is no way people can learn to coexist with these wild animals, though UWA advises us to do so,” Okumu said.
He questioned whether the practicability of human-wildlife co-existence as preached by UWA would work within the community.
Berochan’s body was conveyed to Buliisa General Hospital for a postmortem before it was later handed to the relatives for burial.