Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) recently disbursed money to the seven districts neighbouring Queen Elizabeth national park in western Uganda as part of the benefits to the communities under the revenue sharing arrangement for the financial year 2014/15.
The districts are: Rubirizi (Shs 104.3m), Kasese (Shs 175.8m), Kamwenge (Shs 72.9m), Kanungu (Shs 41.7m), Rukungiri (Shs 57.3m), Ibanda (Shs 21.6m) and Mitooma district (Shs 39.8m).
UWA Executive Director Dr Andrew Seguya presided over the handover of the money at Queen Elizabeth national park headquarters in Katunguru, Rubirizi district. The chief administrative offices (CAOs) received the cheques on behalf of their districts.
Seguya noted that UWA had been sharing revenue with adjacent local governments and communities since 2000 in accordance with the law. The overall goal of revenue sharing is to ensure strong partnerships between the management of protected areas, local communities and local governments, leading to sustainable administration of resources by enabling local communities to benefit financially.
Since 2003, the park has disbursed Shs 3.3bn to support community projects ranging from infrastructure development, provision of social services, study tours, livelihood projects and human-wildlife conflict mitigation.
Seguya urged the district leaders to ensure that these projects are expeditiously implemented to create desired impact and enlist community support for wildlife conservation.