PAKWACH. Hippopotamus attack victims in Pakwach sub county, Pakwach district want Uganda Wildlife Authority to build them permanent houses and provide long lasting income generating enterprises as a means of rehabilitating them.
The survivors say they were at the prime of their lives able to fend for themselves when the beasts prematurely incapacitated their mobility.
At Pajau upper village in Olieju parish Pakwach Sub county, Mr Geofrey Onenarach, 32, a resident said his right leg was amputated and has resulted in permanent disability after a hippopotamus attacked their canoe while fishing at a nearby river.
The incident that happened in 2018 has drained him financially and has sold all his family land and cattle and want the wildlife Authority to compensate for the permanent damage inflicted.
"We were fishing with my colleague and suddenly the hippopotamus hit our canoe and drowned in the water destroying my right leg. I'm helpless, this has now turned us into beggars", Onenarach said.
He continued "as a family we have all the medical documents to support our expenses, My wife has now run away because of my being unable to fend for the family and perform my marital duties".
He said all the efforts were arranged to meet the wild life officials but their commitment to compensate him were verbal.
Onenarach is demanding for a decent shelter to accommodate his family and cash of 300million to open up sustainable business to enable him pay school fees for his five children all still in lower primary.
At Luga village, Mukale, parish still in Pakwach Sub county, Mr Ronald Ochendi is mourning the death of his 20year old son late Peter Ocaki who died on spot after being hit by the mammal while fishing in Albert Nile, he also wants UWA to come to his rescue as the son is the one who use to take care of him.
The family said the officials gathered all their details but have not updated them on what progress they are taking.
The community of Pakwach sub county bordering the Murchison falls national game park have also complained of slow response to tame the hippopotamus that have devastated their food crops besides claiming lives.
However, Mr Wilson Kagoro, the community warden at Murchison falls national park said his team finalized all the necessary and forwarded them to higher authorities.
He warned that thorough investigation will be launched to confirm circumstances that led to provocation of the hippos before the necessary pay is affected.
"The hippos could have been mating or there could have been an element of poaching on them that angered them, investigation is on to get the truth", he said.
Kagoro said Pakwach sub county is among the hottest spots for poachers dealing in hippos mainly for their tusks and meat adding that they have confiscated heaps of snares used to trap both hippos and other wild animals.
Between 2018 and 2020, an estimate of eight fishermen perished at different landing sites along Albert Nile in Pakwach district due to hostility meted by the hippos while fishing.