Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has received eight computers (laptops) from the Chinese Embassy in Uganda to boost the agency’s conservation efforts.
The computers were handed over by the Deputy Ambassador of China to Uganda, Chen Huixin to the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu at the ministry’s headquarters in Kampala.
Huixin said China appreciates the important role UWA plays in conserving the country’s wildlife resources. He observed that protecting the environment and promoting ecosystem development is a shared responsibility where everyone should play a role.
“As people of China, we know the progress you have made in the recovery of wildlife numbers, therefore this donation is our gesture of support towards UWA’s efforts in wildlife conservation in Uganda,” said.
He said the relationship between China and Uganda is at its best ,adding that China has supported many government projects in Uganda and that the Chinese have invested in various areas such as manufacturing and construction in order to develop Uganda’s economy.
The Chinese diplomat promised to work even harder to further strengthen the ties between Uganda and China through offering training to Ugandans in wildlife protection and enhancing harmonious living between the people and wildlife.
While receiving the computers, Professor Kamuntu expressed gratitude to China for donating the computers to UWA saying that they will immensely help UWA in its conservation efforts especially in this digital era.
The minister said that Uganda’s transformation agenda is fuelled by Chinese support revealing that Uganda’s fight for independence was inspired by the Chinese experience. “We look to China for lessons to develop our own country; we need to learn from the Chinese so that we can get out of poverty like China did”
He urged UWA to work closely with China describing the country as a valuable friend of Uganda. He also urged UWA embrace the use of modern technology such as drones and helicopters which can help improve the monitoring of protected areas.
Kamuntu further expressed the need to protect Uganda’s natural resources against illicit trade, encroachment and pressure to de-gazette protected areas. “Uganda is exceptionally endowed with natural assets and they should be conserved. We must protect these resources by training our staff, sensitization of stakeholders and involving neighbouring communities in the management of the parks”.
The UWA Executive Director, Sam Mwandha, appreciated the Chinese Embassy for the donation, saying that it comes in handy to facilitate UWA’s digitisation process.
Mwandha said China last year offered training to UWA staff in cites management and that more will be going for training. He also said that a Chinese company is interested in investing in Murchison Falls National Park and start marketing Uganda in China.