By Jumah Nsubuga
The minister of tourism, wildlife and antiquities Maria Mutagamba says that her sector needs shs13.5b shillings for the mitigation of human wildlife-conflicts.
While appearing before parliamentary committee on tourism, trade and industry, minister Mutagamba said that the interventions will include launching massive sensitization and mobilization campaign of the communities living next to protected areas to enlist their understanding and appreciation of the value of conservation.
She also said that the ministry will use that fund to dig more trenches along the boundary lines of the park.
This comes after a public outcry that wild animals attack people who live near national parks.
The minister further said that in the last financial year a total of shs1.4b was disbursed to communities living near the national parks (Bwindi and Mgahinga, Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks) under the revenue sharing scheme, through their local governments.
“The funds will address human-wildlife conflicts, improvement of community livelihoods and common public good services” The minister said.
She also said that in order to improve wildlife law enforcement and combat illegal activities in protected areas, 430 rangers have been recruited, trained and deployed.
Meanwhile the minister has confirmed to the committee that her sector has put in place an intelligence unit to enforce wildlife crime detection.
She also said that, tourism sector requires extra 18.4b shillings next financial year to deliver of the economy as defined in the National Development Plan (NDP) and vision 2040.
The money will be used as follows;supporting nine Ugandans foreign missions to promote tourism through training, branding and familiarization trips.This will need 0.720b.
Constructing public relations firms in key source markets of US,UK,EU,China and Japan will need 5.4b
Organizing familiarization trips for international travel agencies and media need 0.405b .
She also said that shs2b will be used to enhance destination market access through trade fairs and shs3.5b mitigation of human wildlife conflict through digging trenches, supporting livelihood projects to communities neighboring protected areas and shs2.366b will be used to enhance training of the government regulatory staff in product packaging and development, marketing and quality assurance skills among others.