A herdsman grazing cows at the Hoima district Headquarters. Herdsmen in Bunyoro are accused of grazing animals at night in peoples’ gardens.
Tension is growing among herdsmen and cultivators in Hoima District as animals invade crop gardens.
Many farmers are crying foul after their crops were destroyed by cows, especially during the night hours. According to the farmers, the herdsmen have started grazing animals at night in their gardens.
Joseph India, a farmer in Kabaale sub-county in Hoima says the herdsmen have severally been accused of trespassing on their gardens at night while grazing animals causing a lot of destruction to their crops. He says the situation if not addressed, could lead to bloodshed between the two parties.
James Isingoma, another farmer in Hoima says, wants the government to intervene and stop the herdsmen. He says that due to the drought that has hit the region, the little that is in the gardens have been destroyed by the animals.
Emerick Kakura, the Chairperson of LCI Kasenyi Village in Buseruka Sub County, Hoima District says that he has received several complaints in his office of herdsmen encroaching on the farmers’ gardens to graze animals at night.
Patrick Okwairwoth, a farmer in Kikuube says that some farmers in the area have resorted to sleeping in the cold to guard their gardens.
Donald Tibasiima, a farmer in Buliisa says his one acre of maize garden was completely destroyed by cows that invaded the garden. He accuses the pastoralists of allowing their animals to destroy crop gardens without any compensation.
“Government should come on board and rectify this situation otherwise we are going to be hit by famine following the destruction of our garden crops by these animals. Some of us have reached the extent of not getting food from our gardens since cows have completely destroyed the crops; “he said.
Ali Tinkamanyire, the Buseruka Sub County LCIII Chairperson says that the dry spell has forced the herdsmen to sneak into the gardens. He cautioned the herdsmen to respect farmers and immediately stop sneaking into peoples’ gardens.