The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) last week disbursed nearly 514 million Uganda shillings, equivalent to US$1.5 million, to communities bordering the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Revenue sharing was introduced to provide direct benefits from wildlife-based tourism to the communities living along national park boundaries, aimed to create ownership as well as support conservation and anti-poaching measures.
Seven districts benefitted from the income revenue sharing scheme – 20 percent must go to those districts bordering a national park – which is provided for under the Wildlife Act of 2000.
Since the scheme came into effect, the UWA has dished out nearly 3.4 billion Uganda shillings to the districts of Kanungu, Rukungiri, Ibanda, Mitooma, Kasese, Kamwenge, and Rubirizi, funds used by the communities to provide social services, infrastructure improvements like a better local road network, education services support, and also sustainable income-generating projects.
Dr. Andrew Seguya, the CEO of Uganda Wildlife Authority, was himself at hand to hand over the checks to the community leaders which in value ranged from 21 million to nearly 176 million shillings.
Source: Prof. Wolfgang H. Thome, Ph.D., eTN Africa Correspondent