Effects of wild animals on household food security in areas around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Kanungu district Uganda
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Crop raiding by wild animals around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is a major concern because it has negative impacts on both wildlife conservation and local house hold food security in general, particularly due to the high density of subsistence agriculturalists living along the park boundary. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of wild animals on household food security and the measures in place to minimize these damages around Bwindi impenetrable national park. Data was collected on two parishes Mukono and Bujengwe in four frontline villages on the edge of the park in Kanungu district. Through survey, it was established that the crop raiding was positively influenced by the availability of food crop plantations all of which are palatable crops and are eaten by the wild animals. Bananas (Musa sp.), sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), pumpkins, maize and beans were the major sources of food for the neighbouring households. The results suggest that the crop raiding leads to a decrease in the food available to the house holds around the park and the measures in place to minimize these damages are effective to some extent but they do not eliminate the lack of food resources caused by the wild animals around the park. To stop wild animals from leaving the park, the study recommends planting of deterrent crops like chilies and non-palatable crops like tea and removing herbaceous foods consumed by wild animals from plantations. Mitigation measures of crop raiding require more inputs financially so that the people are compensated when these animals destroy their crops. In addition, the laws should be reviewed so as to incorporate both the local people’s needs and the environmental concerns.