Tourism minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu on Thursday handed over cheques to representatives of the three districts at the Bwindi conservation head office in Buhoma in western Uganda.
Kisoro, Kanungu and Rubanda districts are to share a total of sh4.4b under the government revenue sharing scheme of communities living around the Bwindi Mgahinga conservation area in western Uganda.
Tourism minister Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu on Thursday handed over cheques to representatives of the three districts at the Bwindi conservation head office in Buhoma in western Uganda.
The funds will finance a total of 76 projects in Kisoro, Rubanda and Kanungu districts.
"We are giving this money in recognition of the important role that communities play in our conservation efforts; we believe that we cannot effectively conserve wildlife without the support of the communities. Thank you all for rallying behind Uganda Wildlife Authority in conserving the two gorilla parks," he said.
He said that the money disbursed under the revenue sharing scheme had kept on increasing because of the ever increasing number of tourists who visit the parks to track gorillas.
During the event, Kamuntu gave an assurance that Uganda is safe for visitors and warned that anyone who tries to endanger tourists will be dealt with.
He urged the communities to work closely with the park management by ensuring that the wrong elements do not infiltrate the parks, which would scare away the tourists.
Kamuntu officially opened a modern visitor information centre at Buhoma, where he expressed government commitment to improving infrastructure in all tourism destinations. He said the centre will help visitors and community members to access information about the conservation areas and the attraction there the game park.
Uganda's wildlife has made a miraculous recovery and tourism continues to be one of the top foreign exchange earners for Uganda with the country earning $1.4b from the sector according to statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
Uganda's National Parks now nurture healthy populations of elephant, lion, hippo and other large mammals, and is a major stop on the migratory bird route up the region according to a recent report.
The report said Uganda is home to 13 different primate species with Kibale National Park ranked as one of the best places in Africa to see chimpanzees.