threats to Uganda Tourism

Uganda Strengthens Fight Against Poaching

Uganda Strengthens Fight Against Poaching
Close to 500 game rangers have been passed out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to beef up the security of wildlife in the country’s national parks and game reserves after under going training at Murchison Falls Training Ground in Nwoya district. The group, which consists of 393 men and 97 women aged between 22-30 will be deployed in different conservation around the country to add on the already existing force in the field. The training was carried out for four months conducted by UWA in conjunction with the UPDF’s fourth division Gulu. In 2005, the same recruitment also took place where 200 rangers and 400 UPDF men were seconded to UWA under Special Wildlife Integrated Force for Tourism (SWIFT).The passing out ceremony was presided over by the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who congratulated the graduates and the Uganda Wildlife Authority for building manpower to protect the parks. He said that lawlessness in the parks has been going down for the last five years, which has made the number of animals in the park to go up, especially the elephants.Also, the fight against poaching guarantee increased Uganda safaris for gorilla trekking in Bwindi, game viewing and other related packages in the Pearl of Africa.

The President also blamed the “mediocrity” of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for not doing enough to promote the Ugandan Tourism Industry. The President said Uganda has unique potential in tourism with high plateau area with the lowest part 650meters above sea level and the highest part more than 5,000 meters above sea level saying that this should be the basis for promotion of the sector.

The president said that the promotion of the potential of wildlife has been poor due to poor performance of the Uganda Tourism Board. He says that some countries have very little to offer yet they attract more tourists mentioning Spain as an example that attracts 50 million visitors per year.

Concerning the development and improvement of the tourism sector, Museveni said there is need to work on the roads in the parks and he called the UWA management to have a master plan and he will look for money for it. Museveni also advised UWA to construct airport or aerodrome near the park to help in transportation of tourists by overcoming the hustle of traffic jam in Kampala. The president also advised that in order to combat the issue of conflict between human beings and wildlife, electric fence could be put in place and some plants that animals don’t like, like red pepper should be planted to deter the animals from straying into community land.

The president also said that he has instructed Uganda Revenue Authority to introduce scanners at all borders to track the vehicles that might be used to smuggle animal products. The newly passed out rangers are expected to boost the security of wildlife that has always been threatened by poachers in the parks where they will be deployed. The most endangered animals in Uganda parks include elephants, buffaloes, and antelopes that are always hunted by poachers for products like meat, husks, hides and skins, among others.

The rangers will also be very instrumental in offering security to tourists against some dangerous wild animals like lions and leopards that may attack tourists while traversing through the game parks enjoying activities like game drives, game viewing, chimpanzee and gorilla tracking, among others.