Cooperatives & Communities

UWA accuses local governments of failing to account for shared revenue

FORT PORTAL– Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA], the manager of the national game parks,  has blamed the authorities in district local governments neighbouring Kibale Conservation Area for failing to account for the 20 percent of the shared revenue released to them in a sharing scheme.

According to Chief Warden Kibale Conservation Area, Edward Asalu, districts have failed to account for the funds or misused them. The money/ shared revenue is meant to improve the livelihoods of communities neighbouring the protected areas that are of great importance to the country.

Asalu said in the financial year 2018/2019, Kibale Conservation Area gave out Shs  497 million to the five districts to support a number of projects in the communities but they have failed to account for it.

The five districts that benefit from the shared revenue  from Kibale Conservation Area are; Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Bundibugyo, and Bunyangabu.

“Failing to account for the previous money given to these districts has delayed disbursement of the next batch. These local governments seem not to put the funds to the right use because they have failed to account for it,” Asalu said.

He said this during UWA engagement meeting with the LCIII chairpersons from the districts surrounding Kibale conservation area.

He revealed that the 20 percent of the funds are meant to help communities adjacent to the parks to start projects aimed at solving the human-wildlife conflicts.

Kibale Conservation Area consists of Kibale National Park, Tooro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Semliki National Park, and Katonga Wildlife Reserve.

The Kyenjojo district LCV Chairman, Gilbert Rubeihayo appealed to UWA to change the mode of giving out the money, arguing that setting up projects that benefit all community members is better than giving the money to individuals.

“UWA should think of setting up projects for the benefiting communities so that these communities can benefit as groups not giving funds to local government to distribute it among the individual beneficiaries,” Rubeihayo said.

However, some of the sub-county chairpersons who attended the meeting said they have done all it takes to account for the funds/shared revenue received.

According to the Uganda Wildlife Act 2019, UWA is mandated to give back 20 percent of its annual park gate collections as a conditional grant to the communities neighboring the national parks under the revenue sharing scheme.

The money is meant to encourage communities to help in the conservation of wildlife in the protected areas by stopping acts such as poaching, deforestation, and encroachment on the game parks and reserves for cultivation.

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