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In fulfillment of its obligation to give 20% of the park entrance fees to the district local governments that surround protected areas in Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority has disbursed over 143 million shillings to the communities adjacent to Kidepo Valley National Park for the financial year 2015/16, to implement livelihood projects. Uganda Wildlife Authority Rewards Communities as a way of protecting wild animals against poaching.
The funds which were released to the Kaabong district leadership on June 10, 2016 at the district headquarters, is 20 percent of the park entry revenue that has accumulated over the last three years.
Johnson Masereka, the Kidepo Valley Conservation Area, Manager, said the three benefiting sub counties included Karenga, Kawalakol and Kamion. Following a successful vetting process, Kaabong District Local Government endorsed community projects as part of the district development plan for 2015/15.
Masereka asked the district leadership to ensure proper utilization of the funds, challenging them to also consider projects that will mitigate Human Wildlife conflict.
The Chief Administrative Officer, Kaabong district, Charles Otai commended the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority for the transparent manner of disbursing the funds to benefit the communities who co-exist with the wildlife and at same time bear the blunt of its destruction in case of crop raids by the animals.
He urged the new leaders at all levels to ensure the right proposals benefiting the communities are put forward and the proper utilization of the funds for maximum benefit and accountability. He called for a symbolic relationship between wildlife and the communities where people position themselves strategically to benefit from the sprouting tourism activities.
The chairman Kaabong District, Mark Abuku promised to intensify the sensitization of the communities neighboring protected areas to positively change their attitudes towards wildlife as a source of economic development. The event was witnessed by the Kidepo Valley Conservation Area Community Warden, Walter Odokorwot and the warden in charge of tourism, Stephen Nyadru.
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