African Wildlife Foundation in partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority has completed and handed over two primary schools to communities that live adjacent to Kidepo Valley National park in Kaabong district.
Kidepo Primary School and Sarachom Primary School that were built with a $900,000 funding from Misha Jannard, were handover on February 4th and 5th respectively.
Kidepo Primary school in Karenga sub-county was initially inside the park before the park headquarters were moved from Apoka to Geremech. Sarachom Primary School is in the community next to farmlands in Lobalangit Subcounty. The schools are in line with the 'Classroom Africa' programme of the African Wildlife Foundation. This programme aims to provide incentives to the local population to embrace wildlife and learn to see it as an opportunity rather than a threat to their livelihoods.
The two schools have been built mainly with local materials found within the area. “Due to the remoteness of the sites and the associated high transport costs, building materials have been carefully selected to be sourced locally wherever possible”, said Felix Holland the designer and architect for the project. He emphasized that the existing local trees species are being protected to an extraordinary extent adding that innovative forms of appropriate agriculture have been introduced in the form of demonstration farms and gardens. Misha Jannard the funder of the project was expressed satisfaction with the work done saying he was glad that the schools will benefit the communities.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority Deputy Director of Field Operations Charles Tumwesigye, that UWA will ensure that the schools are enclosed in an eco-friendly wall to protect the children. He pointed out that management is aware of the potential human-wildlife conflict, especially within the area and all necessary measures are being undertaken to mitigate these conflicts.