John Makombi, the Director in Charge of Conservation says grazing of animals within wildlife reserves is threatening conservation
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is proposing a total ban on all activities within the wildlife sanctuaries with the exception of fishing and activities related to wildlife conservation.
A wildlife sanctuary is an area where animal habitats and their surroundings are protected from any sort of disturbance. UWA has 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries.
John Makombi, the Director in Charge of Conservation told our reporter that they have drafted a paper that soon will be presented to the cabinet proposing the total elimination of all other activities within the conservation areas.
According to Makombi, the presence of human activities majorly grazing livestock has affected the breeding of animals forcing some species to migrate but also giving birth to human-wildlife conflict.
Makombi noted that due to human activities many species of plants and animals are on the verge of extinction from wildlife conservation areas.
Makombi also informed us that UWA is moving on with electric fencing around the park to ensure human-wildlife conflict is eliminated.
But the district leaders around queen Elizabeth National Park are calling for more breeding centers for endangered species. They also want UWA to designate places within the park that can be used by pastoralists.
Mitoma Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Meryscent Abiine Ariyo suggests that UWA can consider giving permits to communities around the wildlife reserves to graze within designated places instead of closing down their activities.
Dan Katongole, the Kahendero LCI chairperson argues that the fishing business is becoming too competitive for communities within the landing sites and this has forced many of them to venture into other activities including livestock grazing.
Geoffrey Asiimwe Kamuhanda, a resident of the Kahendero landing site says there is a need for UWA to engage the local community on this proposal before it is taken to the cabinet so that there can be fairness in their argument. He also faults the authority for failing to enlighten the community on the new UWA law.
Kamuhanda noted that unless UWA grants them access to the sanctuary to graze and water their animals, several people are likely to lack any source of income.