GULU – In a bid to ensure sustainable management of wildlife and protected areas, Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] is to recruit 800 rangers to boost security.
In a press statement, John Samuel Mwandha, the Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority revealed that the planned nationwide recruitment targets youth between 20-30 years.
The exercise scheduled for June 8, 2022, will be conducted in the different districts that include Masindi, Kabarole, Kiruhura, Mbale, Rubirizi and Karenga in Kidepo National Park.
Mwandha explained that the exercise is to reinforce operations and security in the game parks, conservation areas and wildlife sanctuaries, but also to reduce the escalating wildlife-human conflicts that have seen both humans and animals killed.
UWA manages 10 National parks, 12 wildlife conservations, five communities based, and 13 wildlife sanctuaries.
The parks include; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls, Kidepo, Mt.Elgon, Rwenzori Mountains, Semuliki, Mgahinga Gorilla, and Bwindi impenetrable Park.
Meanwhile, the rift valley landscapes and tropical forests make a dramatic backdrop to an extensive variety of flora and fauna which attracts hundreds of tourists and visitors to the country.
Tourism is one of Uganda’s economic mainstays which earned the country US$1.5 billion in 2019 financial year, according to UWA.
The Chief Warden of UWA Murchison Falls National Park Wilson Kagoro noted that inadequate human resource is affecting the management of the wildlife-protected areas.
However, Mwandha recently told the Parliament that at least 17 rangers and 9 suspected poachers have been killed during the different operations in the last 20 years.
The Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights recently summoned UWA to respond to the status of the human rights observations in the wildlife-protected areas.
The report submitted to the Committee includes alleged torture, human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests, detentions and extrajudicial killings against the communities neighbouring the parks.
The hostilities between the rangers and the communities amounted to 21 cases of human rights violations reported to the Human Rights Tribunal against UWA.
At least 18 of the cases were reported from Mt.Elgon and three from Murchison Falls National Park, resulting from unresolved land cases in court, resistance to arrests, and attempts to disarm the rangers.
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