Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has received support of UGX 30 Million from the Giraffe Conservation Alliance (GCA) and Oregon Zoo Nature Connect Program, East Africa towards giraffe monitoring activities in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and Kidepo Valley National Park. The funds will be used to support the rangers to carry out routine patrols as well as monitor giraffes around their home range to mitigate poaching. The Cheque was handed over to Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director (ED) Sam Mwandha by the Project Coordinator Isaac Mujaasi at UWA Head Office on 1st July 2020.
ED Mwandha noted that UWA prides in doing well to fulfil its conservation mandate and any supplementary efforts geared towards achieving this objective is very appreciated. He revealed that the organisation had intensified efforts to patrol the protected areas because poaching incidences had increased since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic in March. However, due to the resilience and hard work of the field teams across the protected areas, the trend is going down. “Poachers had thought UWA had as well been locked down with its operations closed. But now they realise that we are carrying out even more patrols and law enforcement thus reduction of poaching incidences,” said Mwandha. He noted that UWA appreciated the support of GCA to sensitize communities around the parks and cause awareness of the need to conserve wildlife.
Mujaasi in his remarks said that in these unprecedented times of the COVID 19 pandemic, it was important to support monitoring activities of the Giraffes because these are endangered and any further loss would easily render the population extinct. “Although UWA can fall back on her emergence savings from over the years, this is a big strain for the organisation. UWA needs to maintain all their staff to monitor giraffes and other wildlife species in the conservation areas and its neighbourhood. Issues of encroachment, poaching continue despite the lock down. There is therefore need to support efforts aimed at curbing threats to wildlife in addition to community awareness, education and empowerment,” Mujaasi noted.