UWA inks Shs30b deal to protect wildlife reserve

Giraffes at Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Karamoja Sub-region. PHOTO / PIAN UPE WILDLIFE RESERVE

What you need to know:

  • Mr John Makombo, who represented the UWA executive director, said the partnership will also ensure that locals earn more value from the ecosystem they will help protect.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has signed a $8m deal (about Shs30b) with Space for Giants, an international charity organisation, to protect and conserve Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Karamoja Sub-region. The agreement seeks to raise new investment capital to restore the wildlife reserve.

During the signing of the agreement last Friday, Mr Paul Lokol, the Nabilatuk District chairperson, told the Monitor that the partnership will transform communities neighbouring the wildlife reserve, saying the organisation will be injecting $1.2m (Shs4.5b )annually to promote tourism activities in Pian Upe.

Mr Lokol, who is also the chairperson of the Collaborative Community Wildlife Management Association,  said the development will promote social amenities such as hotels, lodges, restaurants and other services for tourists.

Mr Lokol added that the partnership will see the nine districts, which are members of the Collaborative Community Wildlife Management Association,  benefit their communities through building schools, health centres, water sources, and improving pastures.

The districts include Nakapiripirit, Amudat, Nabilatuk, Kween, Napak, Bulambuli, Bukedea, Kumi, and Katakwi.

“In 2008 a similar agreement was signed with Karamoja, which enabled us to share revenue generated. This money has seen us build schools, health centres, and purchase school furniture, but this one now comes with even better incentives,” Ms Lokol said.

Mr John Makombo, who represented the UWA executive director, said the partnership will also ensure that locals earn more value from the ecosystem they will help protect.

He added that government only hands over the obligation to the organisation to fundraise, and manage the reserve, but UWA retains oversight and makes all major decisions.

“We want to see Pian Upe rise up to its past glory as we bring on board Space for Giants,” Mr Makombo said.

He said they plan to bring in more wildlife and strengthen the manpower to fight poaching.

Dr Max Graham,  the chief executive officer for Space for Giants, said they would embark on a baseline assessment of the reserve.

Mr Graham added that they plan incentives such as improving pasture to reduce the effects of climate change.

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