Communities neighbouring Lake Mburo National Park which borders Kiruhura, Mbarara and Isingiro districts had reason to smile late June when a total of 233m/= was disbursed to them under the revenue sharing scheme.
Uganda Wildlife Authority gives back 20% of the park entrance revenue to the neighbouring communities for livelihood projects .The Conservation Area manager for Lake Mburo CA, Mr. Justus Tusuubira handed over the cheque last week and commended the locals for their receptive attitude to wildlife but warned them against poaching.
On 29th June, 2013, Lake Mburo Conservation Area Management held a function at Community Conservation Education Centre (CEC) to disburse District Shs. 233, 245,238 being revenue sharing funds collected in the financial year 2011/2012.
The function was attended by District Chairpersons and Chief Administrative Officers from Isingiro, Mbarara and Kiruhura, the beneficially districts. Other in attendance were Subcounty Chairpersons and Subcounty Chiefs and Members of Projects Management Committees from parishes. The function was officiated by the Conservation Area Manager, Justus Tusuubira. A total of 45 stakeholders attended the function.
The Assistant Warden Community Conservation, Isaiah Bwire made a brief presentation of the new revenue sharing guidelines with specific reference to roles and responsibilities of different levels with the Local Government system.
In his disbursement speech, the CAM explained the objectives of revenue sharing program which are to establish good relations with communities, demonstrate PA economic value and strengthen support and acceptance from the communities. He informed them that UWA had so far disbursed shs. 760,476,350 since 2001 which was used to implement the following projects:- 35 classroom blocks, 4 teachers houses, 2 health units and maternity block, 1 girls dormitory, Bridge, health workers residence and a 3.5 km water supply system and maintenance of Biharwe – Katengyeto and Sanga to Rwamuhuku roads.
He also informed the participants that other benefits to communities include: fishing, firewood collection, sale of wood from Acacia uprooting activities and sport hunting.
From sport hunting program since 2001 to date Shs. 3,551,500,000 has been disbursed to both land owners and community associations and over shs. 860,000,000 to fishing community in the last six financial years since 2006.
He declared that for the financial year 2012/2013 shs. 214,958,520 was collected and will be ready for disbursement as soon as approved projects that comply to the new revenue sharing guidelines are received by Lake Mburo Conservation Area Management and accountability for the funds disbursed received.
Finally he thanked the leadership of Kiruhura District for its political support in controlling illegal grazing, Mbarara district for provision of equipment to open Katengyeto – Sanga gate road and Isingiro District for its effort to control poaching activities.