Moses Bojoi

and 2 more

Wildlife have over time threatened human safety and livelihoods but the magnitude and extent of such threats varies spatially and temporarily. This study assessed elephant crop-raiding in Nimule National Park landscape situated at the South Sudan- Uganda border. Crop raiding was assessed in both Magwi County in South Sudan and Adjumani District in Uganda, given the near trans-boundary location of Nimule National Park. A descriptive quantitative research design was adopted. Quantitative data on social factors were collected from 62 farmers in Magwi County in South Sudan and 96 farmers from Adjumani District in Uganda using a researcher administered questionnaire. More quantitative data on the incidence of crop–raids were collected using data logs. Olikwi in Magwi county and Ogolo in Adjumani District were the most elephant invaded villages in South Sudan and Uganda respectively. Most raided crops were cassava (Manihot esculenta), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), simsim (Sesamum indicum L.) and (Zea mays). Given that Magwi and Adjumani are mainly occupied by farming households, their livelihoods have been disrupted leading to conflicts. Much as the auditory, visual and olfactory coping mechanisms have been adopted to mitigate crop raiding elephants, the communities neighboring NNP might also be forced to adopt retaliatory measures, given that the magnitude of crop raiding has been increasing in the recent past. This accounts for why the respondents were indifferent regarding possibility of co-existing with elephants with majority casting doubt about any possible benefits from elephant conservation and so, were unwilling to engage in elephant conservation projects. It is recommended that wildlife authorities in South Sudan and Uganda work out sustainable restorative measures that are capable of catering for long run effects of elephant crop raiding. This could also take form of benefits-sharing arrangements and continuous community awareness programmes.