UWA releases 1.53b funds to Queen Elizabeth Conservation area neighbours

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) on Thursday 27th June released revenue-sharing funds amounting to UGX 1,539,434,032 for financial years 2021/22 and 2022/23 to communities neighbouring the Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area.

The funds were handed over to the leaders of the 12 districts that share the boundary with the conservation area.

This initiative aims to promote sustainable conservation practices and foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among local communities.

The allocated funds are intended to support various community development projects, including education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for the residents of the beneficiary districts.

The funds were released to the districts as follows; Rubirizi district shs. 234,880,567, Mitooma district shs. 83,932,140, Ibanda district shs. 37,256,871, Rukungiri district 146,950,924, Kanungu district 130,587,765, Kamwengye district12,382,995, Kasese district 596,165,565, Kitagwenda district 262,696,207, Bundibugyo district 18,936,974, Bunyangabu district 9,460,210, Ntoroko district 1,886,322, and Kabarole district 4,297,495.

The event was held at Kalya courts in Fort Portal City and was presided over by the UWA Director of Finance and Administration Jimmy Mugisa who represented the Executive Director.

Mugisa expressed his gratitude to all partners, stakeholders, and community members for their support and dedication to conservation.

He also emphasized the importance of conservation areas to community livelihoods saying “Our conservation areas are not just repositories of biodiversity; they are also vital sources of livelihood for many. Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area, in particular, is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda and attracts tourists from around the world. The revenue generated from tourism activities is a significant contributor to our national economy and provides the resources
needed for effective conservation management”.

He observed that wildlife conservation is facing several challenges and called for collaborative efforts to overcome them; “The challenges of human-wildlife conflict, habitat degradation, and poaching are real and can only be effectively addressed through a collaborative approach that includes the voices and needs of local communities. I therefore request for increased cooperation of communities so that we fight wildlife crime which has the potential to decimate our wildlife” he added.

He also urged all the beneficiaries of the funds to utilize them wisely and transparently and ensure that the projects they undertake with these resources are impactful, sustainable, and beneficial to communities.

The event was attended by Resident District Commissioners, District Chairpersons, Chief Administrative Officers and other officials from the beneficiary districts who expressed appreciation to UWA for prioritizing the livelihoods of communities neighbouring protected areas.

UWA’s revenue-sharing principle ensures that communities living adjacent to conservation areas derive tangible benefits from their natural resources. The investment in community development projects highlights UWA’scommitment to enhancing the well-being of local residents and supporting the future of conservation

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