Lake Mburo National Park dams fail purpose

In Summary
  • UWA has constructed dams in Lake Mburo National Park to keep animals from going to the communities, but they still stray
Cycling in Lake Mburo National Park
Image: Courtesy

The Ministry of Tourism has expressed concern over failure by dams to keep animals from accessing community land neighboring Lake Mburo National Park.

This is amid a worsening situation of human-wildlife conflicts in the country’s major parks including Queen Elizabeth National Park.

According to the state minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Martin Mugarra, animals still stray.

He made the revelation while accompanied by a team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) during a visit by legislators on the Committee of Tourism, Trade and Industry during the oversight visit at Lake Mburo National Park located in Kiruhura District.

“The human-wildlife conflict is key. UWA has constructed dams in Lake Mburo National Park to keep animals from going to the communities, but they still stray. We have been praying that the UWA budget ceiling is raised to deal with such challenges,” says Mugarra.

“Most parks are experiencing challenges with poaching as well as animals escaping to community land resulting into destruction of life and property,” he adds.

With those challenges he has appealed to Members of Parliament to push for increased funding for Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), with the aim of fighting human-wildlife conflicts in Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks.

MPs on a visit to Lake Mburo National Park
Image: Courtesy

The additional funding, is envisioned to assist in fencing the park, construction of the roads within the parks and construction of staff houses.

It has also worryingly emerged that accommodation for local tourists is limited, yet their number has surpassed that of foreign tourists.

Currently, there are only 10 accommodation units for local travelers yet Ugandan travelers are now over 60 percent of Lake Mburo visitors and once sufficiently funded,it will considerably boost its annual revenue presently at Shs3.2 billion.

Impala gather at one of the dams
Image: Courtesy

Legislators have meanwhile advised UWA to increase its engagements with the community on measures to end poaching, as they wait on the desired increased funding.

Relatedly, at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, MPs have hailed the plan to domesticate the wild through raring edible rats known as cane rats, which are among the most poached mammals with a view to mitigate poaching.