Chimp sanctuary gets Shs350m facelift

A chimpanzee kisses the Queen’s Baton at Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Mukono District November 06, 2021. The Queen’s Baton is part of the build-up of the Commonwealth Games due next year. Photo/ Eve Muganga 

What you need to know:

  • Ngamba, a home of endangered chimps, was last year hit by elevated water levels in Lake Victoria, which submerged all the facilities at the sanctuary.
  • Located on Lake Victoria’s Koome Island in Mukono District, the sanctuary is home to 52 chimpanzees and also undertakes environmental conservation education.

The management at Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary has set up a gabion retaining wall to prevent flooding.
A gabion wall is a retraining barrier made of stacked the stones tied together with wire.
Ngamba, a home of endangered chimps, was last year hit by elevated water levels in Lake Victoria, which submerged all the facilities at the sanctuary.

The executive director of Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Dr Joshua Rukundo, said: “In 2020, we suffered flooding and to be able to protect ourselves from a similar disaster in future, we started a project to erect a gabion retention to stop erosion, and protect the island shores,” he said during an interview on Saturday.

Justification
Dr Rukundo said they chose the gabion wall design specifically because it allows free movement of water.
“We had a number of players such as the Jane Goodall Institute of Switzerland, the friends of chimps in the US, and a community, among other players, who did a fundraising campaign.The project has cost us about Shs350 million,” he said
He said the issue of sustainability of Ngamba Island is critical to conservationists and the tourism fraternity because it plays a big role in the promotion of Uganda’s tourism.

On Saturday, Ngamba hosted the Uganda Olympics Committee, which has staged the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games slated for July next year in Birmingham. The Queen’s Baton, which arrived in Uganda early last week, will be taken to all the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
 
“This is very significant for us because it’s going to showcase the plight of the chimpanzees, the need for conservation of chimps on the world stage and hopefully promote the conservation of chimpanzees internationally and also showcase Uganda as a key destination for tourists,” Dr Rukundo added
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria in Koome Island in Mukono District is home to 52 chimpanzees and also undertakes environmental conservation education.

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