The management of Toyota Uganda and the Nile Breweries Ltd has officially handed over two brand new Yamaha DT 125 motorbikes worth USD 8,400 from the proceeds of the 2013 Murchison Falls Invitational Fishing Tournament (MFIFT) to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to step up patrols against illegal activities in protected areas.
Mr. Dino Bianchi the Managing Director of Toyota Uganda and Mr. Lens Swart the Sales and Distribution director for Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) officially handed over the motorbike keys and the log books on Thursday May 9, 2013 during a brief but colorful ceremony held at the NBL service centre in Kampala.
One of the Yamaha bikes donated through Toyota Uganda was won by a fisherman Piet de Jong who caught a fish closest to a hidden weight and he kindly on behalf of the fishing tournament donated it to UWA .The second came from Mr. Robin Goetzsche of the Sab Miller plc, the parent company of Nile Breweries Ltd ,in appreciation of the conservation efforts by UWA management which have kept Murchison Falls National Park a prime tourism destination.
Mr. Swart said NBL is committed to Uganda’s socio economic development and has heavily invested in people who promote causes like conservation. He hailed the management of UWA for doing a fantastic work in Murchison Falls National park I wildlife protection and pledged to participate in the next fishing competition. Mr. Bianchi of the Toyota Uganda pledged to stay committed to the partnership with UWA in her noble cause for conservation and supporting Uganda Conservation Foundation for the anti poaching projects like ranger posts. A total of 22m/= being proceeds from the 2013 fishing event has been given to UCF for construction of ranger pots in MFCA.
Receiving the motorbikes, the UWA Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Seguya, who was flanked by the Director Conservation Mr. John Makombo and the Business Development Manager, Mr. Stephen Masaba, said UWA treasures the contribution from the partners and promised to uphold the friendship and partnership. He also offered four special park entry permits for the MFIFT organizers led by Peter Baldwin and Jerry Burley. Dr. Seguya hailed the partnership with the Uganda Conservation Foundation headed by Michael Keigwin for putting the proceeds from the Fishing tournament to the right use through construction of the marine and other ranger outposts which are playing a commendable role in curbing illegal activities particularly the poaching of wildlife.
The UWA Chief Executive also used the occasion to announce the planned roll of out of the smart card system for easier access to the parks beginning with the corporate world and urged their members to enroll for customized wild cards. He also said UWA will soon launch a loyalty program for her common visitors. He acknowledged the perennial sponsors of the annual event including Sab Miller-the parent company of Nile Breweries, Toyota Uganda, Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Good Year, Terrain Services, Classic Africa Safaris, Sadolin Paints, Uganda Oxygen Limited, RENCO, Keltron, Expedition Outfitters, Game, Equatoria Catering Services, Ogilvy and Wild Frontiers.
The 14th edition of the fishing competition took place between 6th-10th March with 46 participants from different countries of the world using 17 boats taking part in the coveted event. A total of UGS 22 million was donated trough Uganda Conservation Foundation to put up infrastructure that will facilitate UWA rangers to step up patrols against illegal activities in MFNP. Last year, Marc Spriesterbach from South Africa emerged Victor with a catch of a 75kg Nile Perch. He was awarded with a Yamaha DT175 motor bike courtesy of Toyota Uganda. He however graciously, donated the motor bike to UWA to assist in their continued struggle and fight to end poaching concern.