The senior management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) took four days off their working stations for a retreat to evaluate the organization performance in 2013 and set targets for 2014 during all wardens assembly held at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi (NALI).
Among the milestones highlighted for the year 2013 were the various accolades awarded to the national parks from Tripadvisor and the CNN Travel site, celebrating 50 years of Kidepo, launch of the smart card system which has enhanced revenue performance, visitor and staff security, a new strategic plan and training of more staff as well as filling positions in the top management.
The Executive Director Dr. Andrew Seguya said that within the first quarter of deploying online technologies including the piloting of the wildlife card in Bwindi –Mgahinga Conservation Area(BMCA) coupled with strengthening the reservation office, the organization revenue had increased by 150%.He said from 19.6 billion shillings in 2009,UWA targets collection of 52 billion shillings by end of 2013/14.
The senior staff from both the field and headquarters set themselves targets including significant reduction of poaching, stamping out illegal activities against wildlife, encroachment, illegal grazing, elimination of human-wildlife conflict by stepping up animal problem control as well as intensifying ecological monitoring and research in order to maintain healthy eco-systems. Under tourism, the management implored staff to scale up marketing as the organization continues to diversify the products and improve customer satisfactions.
The Executive Director said the new year will see importation of more game viewing vehicles for day and night game drives, posh buses to promote domestic tourism and specialized trucks that can withstand any weather and terrain. More affordable tourist accommodation and catering facilities will be established, tourism infrastructure improved and the ranger force trained in wildlife management while UWA will also continue to market her destinations by participating in local and international exhibitions.
The assembly also benefitted from expert lectures on the effects of oil and gas in protected areas, leadership skills, health and wellness and sharing of experiences from Kenya Wildlife Service as well as Tanzania National Parks where selected UWA staff spent 10 months on exchange programs. End