Rubirizi. Residents of Kateerera Town Council and Kirugu Sub-county in Rubirizi District are living in fear following invasion of the areas by a herd of hippos.
The residents say more than 30 hippos are now living in Kyamwiga Crater Lake situated in human settlement areas in Katerera county.
The animals strayed from water bodies in Queen Elizabeth National Park in February.
The chairman LCI Nyakagyezi Ward, Mr Abdul Nulu Kasule, said the hippos, which usually move within a radius of five kilometres every night, destroy crops such as cotton, sorghum, bananas and other cereals in their gardens.
The chairman LC5, Mr Didas Kisembo, said on Sunday, the district passed a resolution compelling Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to relocate the hippos by June 30, but no intervention has been made. He said they are seeking the President’s intervention.
However, the executive director UWA, Dr Andrew Sseguya, said this is an opportunity for the community to co-exist with hippos and exploit them as community tourism enterprise.
He promised to deploy UWA wardens to prevent the hippos from harming the locals.