National parks boundary opening starts


NAKAPIRIPIRIT/KATAKWI. Government has completed its plans to re-open boundaries of all national parks and game reserves to establish ownership in a bid to end conflicts between local communities and the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

UWA outgoing executive director Andrew Seguya said government has earmarked funds to re-open all the 10 national parks and 12 games reserves.

Meeting the district leaders, security agencies from Kumi, Bukedea and Katakwi [Teso Sub-region] and Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Napak [Karamoja Sub-region] last week, Mr Seguya, who was represented by the director, conservation, Mr John Makombo, explained that the meeting aimed at engaging communities living near Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve to plan for the re-opening of the reserve boundary.

“The meeting was intended to design the right approach to achieving targeted results in boundary re-opening with the support from both local leaders and the neighbouring communities,”he said.

“It is expected to generate information, ideas, and feedback that will contribute to peaceful boundary marking of the reserve for community livelihood enhancement and protection of our tourism industry,” he added.

The Katakwi District chairperson, Mr Walter Ekiring, applauded UWA for responding timely and pledged total support towards the exercise that is tailored to reduce conflicts between UWA and communities.

The State minister for Energy, Mr Peter Lokeris, said the boundary opening has come at the most appropriate time, considering that UWA has constantly been engaging in conflicts with locals living around the reserve.
The Mt Elgon National Park chief conservation officer, Mr Fredrick Kiiza Kayanza, said local communities will be sensitised about the exercise.

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