Tourism ministry seeks UGX 130Bn for human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies

Electric fences have been erected to control movement of Elephants. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities is seeking an allocation of 130 billion Shillings to implement human-wildlife conflict mitigation measures.

The ministry says that the Uganda Wildlife Authority has been overwhelmed with numerous cases of human-wildlife conflict from problem animals such as elephants, baboons, buffalos, hippopotamuses and crocodiles among others.

Nwoya district chairperson Emmanuel Orach told URN that wild beasts from Murchison Falls National Park have devastated over 3,000 acres of cumulated farmland in Lii, Kochgoma, Got-Apwoyo, Lungulu, Anaka and Purongo sub-counties. He added that at least 20 lives have been lost since 2020 by marauding elephants that invade human settlements in Nwoya.

Vanice Mirembe, the Manager for Awareness and Human-Wildlife Conflicts at Uganda Wildlife Authority says that since 2018, the Authority has been rolling out mitigation measures such as electric fencing, trench digging, bee-keeping, rescue and translocation of animals as well as supporting livelihood projects which are curtailed by a funding deficit.

To her plea, the Minister of Tourism Tom Butime petitioned Parliament’s Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industries to push for allocation of more funds to the ministry to expedite rapid response that mitigates the human-wildlife conflict.

“Wildlife generates over 120 billion Shillings to the tourism sector annually and employs over 600,000 Ugandans. But unfortunately, recurrent cases of conflicts around protected areas influence negative sentiments and retaliatory killings of wild animals,” Butime said, adding that they are now seeking to employ modern technology and sophisticated equipment like earth rangers and drones to effectively monitor the movements of animals for early detection and rapid response.

The lawmakers had summoned the ministry officials to explain incidents of rampant bushfire incidents across the protected areas like the recent inferno at Queen Elizabeth National Game Park that razed down Park View Safari Lodge and Mazike Valley Lodge.

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URN

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