By Steven Ainganiza
Over 28 habitual poachers in Rwenzori Mountain National Park have denounced the illegal practice and handed over their weapons.
The poachers from Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole District have been invading the National Park hunting for wild animals such as wild Pigs, Baboons, Monkeys among others.
“We have spent many years poaching to get meat, but because of the sensitization we have received from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) we have decided to denounce this bad activity,” Said one of the former poachers.
This happened during a ceremony held at Mabwe Trading Center in Mitandi parish, Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole district on Wednesday where the poachers handed over equipment they were using such as spears to Francis Mbowa, the Warden Community Conservation Officer Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
“I commend you for handing over the weapons and denouncing the illegal activity. This shows that the communities are also committed to participate in conserving the the very important biodiversity,” The impressed Mbowa remarked.
At the same ceremony, Mustafa Byokufa, the Katebwa LC3 Chairperson noted that poaching has brought a big loss to Uganda’s economy since wild animals fetch a lot of money from tourist attraction.
Byokufa asked them to desist from poaching and illegal logging into the park but rather form groups that government can support through Community Driven Development (CDD) funds and Luwero- Rwenzori funds so as to have improved household income.
John Manume the district Councilor Katebwa warned people against lumbering in the National Park saying this puts them at risk of being shot.