The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is seriously addressing the vice of poaching in Murchison Falls National Park from the neighboring communities.
The good news to the uganda safari/Uganda safaris industry or the Uganda tourism sector is UWA`s revelation that several poachers have been arrested and cautioned while others have been prosecuted.
UWA statistics reveal that between January and July this year, at least 104 poachers were arrested in the park and 75 were convicted.
How ever some leaders in Nwoya district have accused the authority of arresting their sons. They also accuse Uganda Wildlife Authority of taking suspects for prosecution in Buliisa district yet Gulu is nearer.
According to Mr.Patrick Okello Oryema, the district chairman, they shall not renew their relationship with UWA unless they (UWA) bring the four people they arrested in the park.He further intimated that they are telling their people not to sell food to the park rangers until they tell them where the four people are.
The district Woman MP, Lily Adong, stated that they have given UWA one month to produce these four people otherwise they shall not revive the relationship with UWA which is not good news to the Uganda safari or Uganda safaris industry.
Some leaders however disagree with the district council. Mr. Simon Peter Oryem, the Anaka town LC3 chairman advised that, it is not proper to pass such a resolution. He said that they should find solutions together because the park is also helping Nwoya since twenty percent of the revenue collected is shared among the parishes around the park.Certainly any one interested in the Uganda safari business or the Uganda tour sector would fully agree to Mr.Simon Peter`s option.
Mr.Tom Okello Obong, the area conservation manager said: “We don’t kill the people who enter the park illegally. We arrest and prosecute or hand them back to the community.”
He further revealed that they have identified several poaching hotspots depending on the type of equipment used.
According to Mr. Okello at the peak of the poaching, especially during the dry season, they arrest at least 50 poachers per month.Numbers of poachers are high during the dry season due the fact that the locals look for alternative sources of livelihood due to food scarcity.
He therefore advised the leaders to work with UWA in sensitizing the people on the importance of wildlife conservation and showed journalists poaching equipment that was recovered from poachers over the last one year.
Richard Odong the minister without portfolio warned people against illegal entry into the park. He urged UWA to prevent animals like elephants and buffaloes from straying into the land of the local communities.
He further divulged that over 400 recruits were undergoing training to be deployed as rangers to fight the problem of straying animals.This is a boost to animal protection which in turn preserves the Uganda safari industry since many Uganda safaris such as a Gorilla trekking safari, birding safari, Uganda wild life safari by any one interested in having a safari to Uganda will be carried out as long as the animals exist.
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