Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials acting on a tip have impounded six kilograms of ivory valued at 9 million shillings in Kotido district, Karamoja sub region.
The ivory was being bartered for bulls in Nakapelimoru Sub County in Kotido district some 123 kilometres North West of Moroto.
However, we were able to establish that a huge bull worth Ushs 1.5 million went for a quarter a kilo of ivory. Most elders buy Ivory to make decorations. Wearing a decoration made from ivory is an indicator of one’s wealth in terms of livestock in the sub region.
James Okware, the in-charge UWA in Karamoja confirms the confiscation of ivory worth nine million shillings. He explains that the locals tipped the police and officials over the business that was being conducted among the communities.
He adds that a joint force of security agencies is tracking the gang carrying out the illicit business. However, he could not identify the suspect for fear of jeopardizing investigations.
Okware says the authority has increased surveillance behind the illegal business to at least protect the elephant which is an endangered species in Karamoja.
Irene Aceng, the Karamoja Police spokesperson appeals to locals to desist from dubious trade. She asks them to secretly tip security agencies whenever they see such illegal trade.
Statistics made available by UWA indicate that in Karamoja close to 400 elephants roam the grasslands of Kidepo Valley National Game Park.
The elephants prefer to stay on the Ugandan side of the border because they are killed whenever; they cross into South Sudan or Orupoi areas- North West of Turkana region in Kenya.