State Minister of Tourism Visits UWA

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State Minister Mugarra visits UWA

State Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities Hon. Mugarra Martin Bahenduka today visited Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters in Kamwokya for a familiarization tour of the institution and met the top management and Board of Trustees of the institution.

On his arrival, he was received by the Executive Director Sam Mwandha and Chairman Board of Trustees Dr. Panta Kasoma. He inspected a guard was mounted in his honour and was taken on a guided tour of the Headquarters and later met members of the Board of Trustees and UWA’s Top Management at Hilton hotel.

The Board Chairman Dr. Panta Kasoma welcomed the Minister and thanked him for making time to visit the institution to familiarise himself with its mandate. He noted that he joins the institution at unprecedented times when UWA was wrestling with numerous COVID 19 effects that have left the institution’s finances and sources of revenue heavily slumped. “We have financial and budgetary resource allocation challenges. The board has been adopting to the current situation with varying plans to cope with the covid 19 pandemic effects on the institution,” he said. He also noted that as much as the country heavily depends on nature for sustaining the economy, there is a siege on nature by the population which is heavily depleting it as well as polluting it.

The Executive Director UWA made a presentation on the institutional overview to the Minister explaining the mandate and conservation milestones of the institution. He highlighted the organization’s management structure, key strategic pillars and management challenges. The strategic pillars mentioned included Ecosystem Management and Wildlife Resource Protection, Community Conservation, Research and Ecological Monitoring, Capacity Building, Tourism and Business Management and Governance. He discussed the numerous challenges the organisation faces in fulfilment of its mandate and the successes registered over time.

In his remarks, the Minister thanked the staff, management and members of the

Board for the tremendous work to ensure the institution functions properly even during the unprecedent times of COVID 19.

He was happy to join the sector since he comes from an area surrounded with protected areas. He said he was cognizant of the challenges since the area he hails from has a fair share of wildlife challenges. He noted that wildlife conservation needs to harness the core component of interacting with communities more to explain the need to have a peaceful co-existence between communities and wildlife. He said the issue of Human Wildlife Conflict has been prevalent in many areas and it continues to be a thorn in conservation of wildlife. He said that as much as more still needs to be done to address the challenge, he commends management for doing a lot to mitigate its effects.

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