The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) Uganda for wildlife research, education and conservation, a Canadian Non-Government Organization (NGO) has launched 18 months project codenamed Human Wildlife Conflict Resilience Fund.
The project is aimed at enhancing community resilience to losses from wild incursions through the development of local and regional compensation scheme that is anchored on community driven and financing mechanism.
The project was launched by the principal assistant secretary (PAS) Masindi district local government, Richard Kiiza who represented his boss the chief administrative officer, Mark Tivu at Hotel Aribas in Masindi town on 17th May 2017.
While addressing stakeholders during a function to launch the project, Umar Tumwine, the Education Programs Manager with JGI said that, the project is being piloted in villages of Kasongoire parish, Budongo Sub County in Masindi district. The villages include Kisagura, Kasongoire, Nyakyeju, Waipacu, Bulyango, Kiryamyongo, Kimanya and Kyabijwenge.
He disclosed that, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF) is funding the project that will be implemented by the JGI, Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, The environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) together with Kasongoire Community Development Association (KACODA).
According to Tumwine, JGI has already carried out sensitization meeting at schools for pupils and with parents in villages to educate them on how they can respond whenever they meet chimpanzees.
Dr. Joshua Rukundo, the conservation programs director with Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust noted that, currently, in Uganda there is no law that compels UWA, the custodian of wildlife to compensate people for the losses of lives and property as a result of incursion by apes.
Rukundo said the project is trying to develop some kind of compensation money that will be contributed by partners in the country like government agencies, private companies including plantation farms, banks, local governments, Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and NGOs.