The Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) has arrested 60 people for illegal poaching in the wild life protected areas in Nakapiripirit district.
James Okware, the senior warden officer incharge of Pian Upe game reserve in Nakapiripirit district said 60 poachers were arrested in operations carried out from from January to August this year.
He said 40 out of the 60 arrested poachers have already been sentenced, while others are still on remand in Namalu government prisons in Nakapiripirit district.
According to Okware the poachers had endangered the lives of the protected animals such as greater kudud, antelopes and ostriches. He said most of the suspects arrested complained of poverty and hunger driving them into poaching.
“We have stepped up pectorals along the park and also sensitizing the community on the dangers of poaching and benefits they gain from wildlife,” he said.
Moses Tebakol, one of the residents of Nakale village in Tokora sub county in Nakapiripirit district who’s brother is currently in jail over poaching said that the current harsh living conditions in Karamoja was driving many people in the region to commit crimes.
“Imagine that day my brother went with his bow and arrows looking for some animal after the family had spent two days without eating. But he never returned and we discovered he had been arrested,” added Tebakol.
Timothy Lomokol, another resident in Namalera village in Namalu sub county said many people will end up in Prisons as long hunger continues biting. “No body would want to poach but it’s the situation where children are at home crying for food and the only option is to poach,” he added.
The Karamoja region is currently facing a big challenge of food shortage and as a result several people have lost their lives because of hunger.