By Francis Emorut
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has expressed concern that poachers have devised sophisticated tools to kill wildlife.
"The poachers have now advanced from rudimentary tools of killing the animals to the sophisticated ones and this is our concern. What will the tourists see if the animals are Killed?” Stephen Masaba, the UWA’s business development manager, lamented.
He pointed out that the most dangerous poachers are those who are engaged in trading ivory as economic activity.
Birds fly over the waters at Murchison Falls
He said this during prize award ceremony for tourists who participated in a fishing competition at Murchison River Lodge bordering Masindi, Pakwach and Oyam districts. The competition was organized by Murchison Falls Invitational Fishing Tournament.
The event attracted tourists who took advantage to also view animals around Murchison Falls. Peter Mbwebwe, the in charge of tourism at Murchison falls explained that poachers who are only interested in meat use traps while those targeting elephants for ivory use rifle
He said despite the threats the authority is making in roads to fight poachers. In order to curb poaching on the park the animal body was given a motorcycle to track poachers.
“We are going to use the motorcycle to patrol hot spots and once poachers learn of it they get scared and abandon their mission,” Masaba said
According to the authority’s executive director, Dr. Andrew Sseguya, Uganda loses sh1b annually towards wildlife traffickers.
Addressing lawmakers last week who were on tour of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda Sseguya observed that stringent punishment should be mated against poachers if the vice is to be stamped out.
Some of the tourists take in the breathtaking view at Murchison Falls
“In East Africa, it is only Uganda that has no stringent penalties against wildlife traffickers, and this is making most of the offenders from other countries like Kenya where penalties are tough to come to Uganda and engage in the vice,” he told MPs
The motorcycle a Yamaha model worth $6000 (about sh15m) was donated by Toyota Uganda. The motor bike will also be used to sensitize the community living around the park to desist from poaching. The bike will act as a booster to the marine boat used to patrol the Nile.
Over sh15m was raised during auction to aid Paraa Primary School in the park with desks and scholastic materials.