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500 Jumbos to Be Relocated to Burigi Chato National Park

CHATO: A herd of 500 stray elephants that were causing havoc in surrounding villages in Karagwe, Missenyi and Bukoba DC will soon be relocated to Burigi Chato and Rumanyika National Parks, it has been disclosed.

Conservation Officer-in Charge for Burigi Chato National Park, Ismailly Omar explained that the step was taken following increasing incidents where the marauding jumbos had invaded and threatened people’s lives and destroying crops in surrounding villages.

Elaborating, he said traditional routes where the elephants used to pass for many decades was recently blocked through agricultural activities of the Kagera Sugar Limited (KSL) and the Kitengure Ranch.   Some of the elephants will be relocated to Burigi Chato while others to Rumanyika National Park.

According to Mr Omar, out of the nine villages that were frequently invaded by the stray jumbos, four villages were Karagwe, Bukoba DC (3) and Missenyi (2).

At least 300 households in Bukoba DCs Omubweya village which faced acute shortage of water forcing them to trek a distance of seven kilometres to Izimbya Ward were often threatened by the marauding elephants.

Mr Abubakar Omary (32) and Christopher Rugemalila (56) said the villagers experienced frequent invasion of stray elephants which destroyed over 150 hectares of various crops at Omubweya, Mishasha and Rwobutagasi villages resulting in food security.

“We appeal to wildlife authorities to drive away the elephants before they caused more devastating damage to the villages. We also appeal to Bukoba District Council to intervene and construct a borehole to enable people to access clean and safe water,” said Mr Omary.

With a total area of 4,700 square kilometers Burigi-Chato is Tanzania’s fourth   largest park and was designated a National Park in 2019. The park offers a number of tourist exaction activities. This goes from game viewing, boat excursion, sport fishing, camping, bird watching and nature walking safaris.

Stretching from Lake Victoria in the East to Rwandan boundary in the West, Burigi Chato is an enormous piece of wild country encompassing fresh water lakes, long hills, rocky crags along escarpments, deeply set valleys lined with forest, open plains, swamps, rivers, flood plains and hundreds of square kilometers of medium and tall grass wooded savanna –mostly combretum and Terminalia known as Miombo.

Source : Daily News