Low Funding Cripples Wildlife Education Center

3062 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Belinda Atim, the centre’s Public Relations and Education Officer says last year, the resource envelope for the Education Centre totaled to UGX 3.2 billion received through a range of sources which include among others, donations and gate collections. Out of this, Government only contributed UGX 650 million.

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is struggling to sustain its activities due to budget pressures and a low resource base. This is grossly affecting the centre’s performance 20 years after the former Entebbe Zoo was revived.
 
The center is mandated to educate Ugandans on the importance of conserving Uganda’s biodiversity, to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and confiscated wildlife and to breed endangered wildlife species in captivity.
 
However although the center holds a niche as one of the most respected conservation education institutions in Africa, its engulfed in funding hurdles coupled with the absence of legislation that would be used to transform its status to a fully fledged statutory body.
 
A bill to change its status to a body with a special funding vote has remained on parliament pending business over the years.
 
Belinda Atim, the centre’s Public Relations and Education Officer says last year, the resource envelope for the Education Centre totaled to UGX 3.2 billion received through a range of sources which include among others, donations and gate collections. Out of this, Government only contributed UGX 650 million.
 
The expenditure needed to sustain the centers’ activities stood at UGX 4.1 Billion leaving a deficit of UGX 900 million, she explains.
 
Atim is however optimistic that such challenges will be dealt with once the law is enacted.
 
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Emma Nahayo Mugizi, the Public Relations Officer of Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities acknowledges the problem which she says is affecting several other departments under the ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and antiquities.
 
She says presentation of the bills took 20 years because previously the tourism docket was operating under the trade ministry and did not therefore receive as much priority as it deserved.
 
Now that Tourism is a ministry on its own, the process will be hastened, she adds.
 
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