The Uganda Wildlife Authority has responded to a series of requests from communities neighbouring the Murchisons Falls National Park to keep game and in particular elephants from raiding their farms and destroying their crops. Only recently some people were killed by elephants as they were trying to protect their farms and property from the marauding animals which had left the park to forage outside where in particular almost ripe crops continue to attract them.
Information from UWA headquarters in Kampala is that the authority will add more ditches along the park boundary which ordinarily prevent elephant from crossing, after starting this exercise some time ago already. A further 57 kilometres will be covered in coming months as an intermediate measure while UWA is trying to source funding to construct a permanent fence along this part of the park boundaries.
Conservationists have added their voices to the problem, highlighting that the keeping of bee hives, or the growing of pili pili pepper around the shambas has proven to be effective in keeping elephants away from farms but there appears to be a greater need to educate and support local communities to use such simple means, a challenge UWA’s community wardens will undoubtedly include in their future advocacy and consultative sessions with community leaders..
Meanwhile it was also learned that UWA and the Rhino Fund Uganda have signed a working document covering the deployment of armed UWA rangers on the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to further improve the security of the 14 rhinos, following a spate of poaching incidents in Kenya. Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wild Authority who have been working hand in hand, have constantly reviewed security measures for the prized animals, which can only be seen in Uganda’s wildlife sanctuaries. Rules of engagement in place mean that poachers will face the combined fire power of both the recently deployed UWA rangers and the RFU personnel, with perimeter patrols, intelligence gathering and other additional security measures all stepped up in recent weeks and months to ensure the safety of the rhino breeding and re-introduction programme.
Following Uganda’s recent creation of the tourism police, in a bid to protect both tourists and prized wildlife especially the endangered Mountain gorillas, rhinos and elephants, UWA is bound to make quite a lot of progress in wildlife Conservation.
Uganda Wild Authority is one of the key players in the Uganda Tourism sector. Most of the wildlife reserves and game parks in Uganda such as Murchison Falls National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are managed by UWA.