By Ronald Kabanza
Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA and Rukungiri district forestry officer Auther Twinomujuni has teamed up with reformed poachers around Queen Elizabeth national Game Park to fight the vice in the protected area.
Some of the reformed poachers are from the neighboring
areas of Queen Elizabeth national Game Park Bwambara sub- County Rukungiri
district, Kiyanga sub- county mitooma district
and Kanungu district.
The former poachers would use spears, arrows, and lay traps in the park targeting antelopes and duikers, which would end up hurting buffalos for meat production.
In today’s meeting held at Bwambara sub- county headquarters between the reformed poachers, district forestry officer and the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA), more than 40 poachers have given up the illegal practice and handed over the equipment they have been using for poaching.
Gerrard Abitegyeke, Warden in charge of Ishasha sector, said that they have teamed up with reformed poachers to encourage their colleagues to take up alternative activities such as farming, bee keeping and other income generating activities.
Auther Twinomujuni, the district forestry officer who
has been at the forefront of mediation between the poachers and Uganda Wild
Life Authority said that he started this process some time back with an intention
of sensitizing them about the benefits of conserving natural environment and
wild life and the dangers of poaching.
According to Twinomujuni, they have sensitized the communities to appreciate the value of the park and game animals adding that he encouraged and promised to support reformed poachers to engage in alternative income generating activities to change their livelihoods.
Sipiriano Byensi, Hope Kakuru both reformed poachers said that they started poaching with their father at a tender age saying that poaching was very dangerous.
They also appealed Uganda wildlife authorities to support them with assistance since they have handed in what they have been using to earn a living.
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