Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has received 15 tonnes of maize flour, 6 tonnes of beans and 500 litres of cooking oil from African Wildlife Fund (AWF) to support rangers to carry out their day to day duties amidst the COVID 19 pandemic that has seen a drop-in revenue earning for UWA. The handover of the items took place at Uganda Museum 29th June, 2020. While handing over the items, the Country Director Sudi Bamulesewa noted that the items were an emergency package designed to ensure conservation work goes on unhindered by the current crisis. He noted that it was critical that conservation areas be urgently supported to carry out their routine protection of the ecosystem. “The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is implementing its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan in its priority landscapes to address conservation and socioeconomic issues. Some of the detailed activities under this include; Protected Area patrols, canines program support, community livelihoods and human wildlife conflict mitigation support and community awareness programs among others,” Sudi revealed.
UWA’s Director- Conservation John Makombo, on behalf of the institution thanked AWF for the great contributions made not only for the food donations but over time for the past 20 years. He noted that the AWF has been one of the strong partners over the years supporting a lot of infrastructural development in the institution. Recently, AWF had supported the conservation areas of Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls Conservation Areas with 10,000 litres of diesel each. Such efforts will ensure that UWA maintains full planned operations to maintain the integrity of the all Protected Areas.
“This gesture will be a strong morale booster for the rangers who will be the beneficiaries of this donation. The food will be put to good use. Such supplementary efforts of our operations will not go in vain,” Makombo noted. The Director observed that much as interest in game meat is on the rise, UWA is alert doing patrols and monitoring every pocket of the parks to rise to the challenge and argued those with intentions to go illegally in the park to desist. The items received were immediately dispatched to the various conservation areas for distribution. The ceremony was attended by members of top management that included Charles Tumwesigye Deputy Director Field Operations, Edgar Buhanga Deputy Director Planning and George Oweyisigere Deputy Director Community Conservation.