Uganda Wildlife Authority has listed protection of wild life and boosting domestic tourism as its priorities of the year.
The government agency on Tuesday unveiled its first batch of five executive Tulambule buses to ease transport problem to National Parks.
Dr Andrew Seguya, the executive director, while speaking at the launch of buses and three boats worth $800,000 (Shs2.9 billion) in Kampala, said: “In 2018, we have set for ourselves even higher targets and I am looking forward to an even better year. We shall come harder on poachers as we work tirelessly to protect our nation’s wildlife.”
He added: “We will ensure improved community relations, enhanced wildlife monitoring and further engagement with our stakeholders. Combating illegal wildlife trade is high on priority list as we look forward to seeing higher wildlife numbers in our protected areas.”
He revealed that numerous community awareness and tourism promotion campaigns that saw visitor numbers grow by up to 40 per cent in some conservation areas.
“The buses are to ease transport to National Parks to boot the domestic tourism as the county gears to hit four million tourists annually from the current 1.4 million. One of the biggest concerns among many Ugandans is the difficulty they have in accessing our National Parks. They say it’s expensive to visit the parks. One way of dealing with this need is provision of easy pool transport access to the parks. This reduces the individual cost on transport while encouraging access,” he said.
“The buses are part of UWA’s strategy to grow tourism and improve conservation as we need the funds to conserve, said Dr Seguya.
According to UWA chairman Ben Otto, the agency is also expected to better their performance this year.