Saturday, 23 February 2013
UWA AND RWENZURURU KINGDOM TO JOINTLY CONSERVE THE CHIMPANZEES.
The Uganda Wild Life Authority is partnering with the Rwenzururu Kingdom to conserve the Chimpanzees in the Rwenzori region.
The three months campaign that is supported by the Fauna and Flora International in Uganda was launched on Saturday at the Rwenzori Mountains National Park headquarters in Rwakingi in Kasese district.
During the campaign, UWA, Rwenzururu Kingdom and Fauna and Flora international will ensure sensitization to engage the local communities in conservation of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is also a world heritage site.
The senior warden in charge of Rwenzori Mountains National Park Mr. Fredric Kiiza said a research conducted by experts from UWA indicated that high level appreciation of the Chimpanzee contributes to the economic wellbeing of the local communities through tourism.
Kiiza said that people living on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains are a major concern in the reduction of the Chimps population in the national park through poaching and killing them intentionally.
According to the national chimp census of 2002, there are approximately five thousand chimpanzees in Uganda with about five hundred of them in the Rwenzori Mountians National park.
Kiiza identified the major threats to the chimpanzees in the Rwenzoris as accidental wire snaring by poachers, loss of habitats through conversion of forests for agriculture land and lack of awareness and participation by the surrounding population.
The campaign will target communities around the Rwenzori Mountains, school children, the public and policy makers.
Speaking at the launch, the Rwenzururu Kingdom spokesperson Mr. Patrick Nyamunungu said culturally the Chimpanzee is not supposed to be endangered because it is one of the totems of the Bakonzo.
The chimpanzee is a totem for the Bathanji clam of the Bakonzo in the Rwenzururu Kingdom.