Local News

FARMERS DECRY CRESTED CRANES AS SEASON SETS IN

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Farmers in Masha sub-county in the Isingiro district are decrying crested cranes destroying their gardens.

The farmers say the birds eat the groundnuts, maize, beans and millet seeds they sow in the gardens and destroy the crops as they germinate.

The most affected are farmers in Nyakakoni A, C, Rwembogo villages in Nyakakoni Parish.

 Julius Muhumuza, LC 1 chairperson Rwembogo village, says the cranes have been invading the area since last year.

Muhumuza says the residents fear hurting the birds because they are prohibited species.

Alice Tumuhirwe, a farmer in Masha Village, says that last season they never harvested anything since the cranes destroyed what they had planted.

She says that they are scared of planting this season for fear of the same problem.    

Annah Nkabuzaranwa, a farmer from Nyakakoni says that the cranes eat leaves of beans and millet as they grow above the ground.

She says the crested cranes have become a problem following the destruction of their habitat in the wetlands.

Peace Kyosimire, a farmer, says that they have resorted to hiring people to scare away the crested cranes from the gardens at between Shillings 2000 and 4000 per day, which is an additional expense.

 She says that they plant more than twice to replace the crops destroyed by the crested cranes.  

Amos Atukwase, the Nyakakoni Parish Councilor says that the crested cranes destroy over 20 to 30 acres of gardens in different villages.

He says that birds invade the gardens as early as 6 am and in the evening as the sunsets.

He wants Uganda Wildlife Authority and other government ministries to intervene.

Emmanuel Bwengye, the Isingiro District Natural Resource Officer, says that the farmers are suffering the effects of encroaching and destroying wetlands, which is the natural habitat for the cranes. 

He has promised to contact Uganda Wildlife Authority to find a solution for the farmers. 

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