Environment

Foreign Tourists Intervene to Save Queen Elizabeth N/P from Encroachers

Adam Stanley speaking to local pupils at the launch of the Queen Elizabeth National Park Twinning Project  on Saturday

Amidst growing pressures from conservationists and game rangers onto residents of Rubirizi district who are encroaching on and poaching from Queen Elizabeth National Park, cialis 40mg http://csautomation.net/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/i18n/states/au.php a group of foreign tourists have come up with a constructive community sensitization program in the area, http://centreduplateau.qc.ca/wp-content/plugins/wp-fullcalendar/wp-fullcalendar.php hoped to mitigate the problem.

The group led by one Adam Stanley, http://compspoultry.com.au/wp-includes/author-template.php a Briton teacher on Saturday launched a tag rugby competition involving 7 primary schools, as a way of sensitizing the public about the importance of tourism in the area.

Mr Stanley while speaking to Chimpreports revealed that the program is aimed at bridging the gap between park officials and the 40% of the local population in Rubirizi district now staying in the park.

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Mr Stanley says it is important that children are taught to appreciate the importance of the national park at a young age, for only then will the grow up to preserve than destroy it.

Mr Stanley says it is important that children are taught to appreciate the importance of the national park at a young age

Mr Stanley says it is important that children are taught to appreciate the importance of the national park at a young age

In March this year, a game ranger shot and killed Kizza Edison, a resident of Busonga in Rubirizi district, who was believed to be a serial poacher.

The news caused tension in the district as locals turned onto the park officials accusing them of using excessive force to protect the animals. The residents claimed that some animals especially baboons and elephants were being killed because they destroy their crops.

In the engagements that followed, park officials were compelled to commit to erecting fences near the homes of the residents to prevent animals from going to their gardens. This however, has not been implemented to date.

“MPs and park officials sat and agreed to fence the park but up to now we’re still waiting,” Night Mwamini a resident in Kyambura Bunyaruguru told us.

Stanley plants a tree at the project launch

Stanley plants a tree at the project launch

She said that there has been seeable will on the side of Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA) to guard animals from destroying people’s gardens but the district leadership has stalled the implementation. Mrs Mwamini believes the resources are available to erect the fences but are being misappropriated by the leaders at the district.

“In Rubirizi we now face a food security challenge because of these animals. The people are frustrated, that’s why they kill them because they don’t know how else to provide food for their families,” she said.

Hope Nsimenta, the headmistress of Kyambura Primary School which participated in the rugby competition, said that that the high dropout rate of pupils from school could be easily linked to the problem arising from the national park.

She said there is lack of concentration in class because pupils are hungry, and that most of them decide to leave school to go and make a living of their own.

Pupils take part in the Twinning games

Pupils take part in the Twinning games

Yowasi Byaruhanga, the national coordinator of the sensitization project named Queen Elizabeth National Park Twining Project appealed to UWA officials to open up their relations with the locals, first by reducing the restrictions on access to the park.

Only when the locals have more access to the park, he said, they will appreciate and embrace its usefulness.

“The park officials should start transporting pupils from neighboring school to the park; this will help them appreciate the beauty and reduce on the collision with the park rangers.”

St John's Primary School were the eventual winners

St John’s Primary School were the eventual winners

Byarugaba revealed that the twinning rugby competitions will be carried out annually and believes that though the sport, harmony will eventually emerge between Queen Elizabeth national park animals, officials and residents in Rubirizi district.

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