For a long time, residents of Muhokya Sub-County in the neighborhood of Queen Elizabeth National Park faced the wrath of elephants that destroyed their crops and in some instances killed people. They did not know how to seek reparation.
After attending civic education trainings organized by Kabarole Research Centre (KRC), a DGF Partner that uses the “Tinfayo” satirical story (page 37), the community members reflected on and identified the issue of the wild animals as a major problem in the area. They also shared their frustration because the local government was not doing anything to protect them from wild animals, which had caused insurmountable destruction.
The “Tinfayo” story enabled them to understand their rights and responsibilities. In 2013, with over 163 signatures, the community members led by change agents wrote a petition to the Speaker of Parliament seeking Parliament’s intervention. They also met officials from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and tabled their grievances and challenges with animals which were grazing on their crops. UWA eventually responded by digging trenches around the boundaries of the national park.
The story further prompted residents of Bundibugyo to mobilize themselves and advocate for rural electrification. As a result of their advocacy, about 300 households now have access to electricity. The Kakongwara-Kyegegwa road was also repaired as a result of the citizens’ vigilance.
The “Tinfayo” story as it is commonly known reinforces citizens’ knowledge of their constitutional rights and responsibilities. The story has been used and re-told in other districts and regions such as Sebei and the Western Region. The Tinfayo story is catching on across the country.