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    Rising Crocodile Attacks on Dolwe Island Spark Urgent Calls for Action

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    Rising Crocodile Attacks on Dolwe Island Spark Urgent Calls for Action
    • June 10, 2024 • 5 days ago
    in summary
    Rising crocodile attacks on Dolwe Island in Uganda's Namayingo District are endangering residents and disrupting their livelihoods. The community is urgently calling for intervention to address the frequent and deadly encounters with the reptiles.

    Dolwe Island, a picturesque fishing hub in Uganda's Namayingo District, has become a perilous place for its residents, with increasing crocodile attacks threatening lives and livelihoods. Isma Magongo's harrowing encounter with a crocodile in 2015 underscores the urgent need for intervention.

    U

    The tranquil waters surrounding Dolwe Island have long been a lifeline for its residents, providing abundant fish and supporting local businesses.

    However, the once-safe shores are now fraught with danger as a surge in crocodile attacks has left the community in fear.Isma Magongo, a 49-year-old fisherman, vividly recalls his life-altering encounter with a crocodile in 2015.

    "I had gone to check on a delayed consignment of fish," Magongo recounts. "As soon as my team left, I bent over to wash my hands and felt myself being dragged into the water by a crocodile."

    Magongo's ordeal lasted six harrowing hours before he was rescued, but not before losing a finger to the beast.Magongo’s experience is not an isolated incident. Bosco Galikuluya, a local tour guide, highlights the frequency of such attacks.

    "Quite a number of people have been attacked by crocodiles here. Some are left with deformities, and others are not as fortunate," he states.

    The rise in crocodile attacks has been attributed to several factors.

    Fred Benard Okumu, Namayingo District's Tourism Officer, warns that the problem is particularly acute at Mwango Landing Site.

    "Crocodiles tend to attack during the dry seasons when people are more likely to fetch water or fish at the shores," he explains.

    John Bosco Nyembeze, Dolwe Sub-county LC3 chairman, stresses the severity of the situation.

    "After every three to five days, there's an attack. It's either a fisherman, a child, or a mother," he says, pointing to villages like Mwandoda, Gorofa, and Kandege as hotspots. "

    Last week, a girl was mauled to death in Kandege, and a woman narrowly escaped an attack while fetching water."The local community, now living in constant fear, is calling for immediate action.

    "Crocodiles have invaded over 10 villages on Dolwe. This needs urgent attention from authorities," Nyembeze urges.

    The attacks have disrupted daily life, with many residents avoiding the lake altogether, impacting their ability to collect water and sustain their fishing activities.

    Magongo's nine-year struggle with trauma and dependency on others for support is a stark reminder of the lasting impact these attacks have on victims.

    "I've been traumatized since the attack. My businesses collapsed, and I've had to rely on sympathizers," he shares.

    The community's plight has not gone unnoticed, but effective measures are yet to be implemented. Increased patrols, crocodile control programs, and public awareness campaigns are among the proposed solutions.

    I

    Until such interventions are put in place, the residents of Dolwe Island remain at the mercy of the lurking predators, their way of life hanging in the balance.

    The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated. As Magongo's story and the rising number of attacks illustrate, immediate and concerted efforts are essential to safeguard the people of Dolwe Island and restore their sense of sec

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