Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has received a donation of food items from the Director Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge and Nkuringo Walking Safaris Ms. Nandudu Lydia to all staff in Nkuringo sector – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) on July 21, 2020. A total of 119 staff (44 for Nkuringo and 75 for Rushaga) have benefited from this contribution. Each member of staff received 20 kgs of posho, 10 kgs rice, 10 kgs beans, 5 bars of soap, 4 litres of cooking oil and a pair of gumboots.
While delivering the items to Nkuringo Southern Sector office on behalf of “Friends of Rafiki”, Nandutu observed that the contribution was aimed at encouraging staff to continue fulfilling their mandate despite the drop-in revenue as a result of Corona virus pandemic. “We are delighted to contribute these items to the staff of Nkuringo who have always worked tirelessly to protect and conserve wildlife especially the mountain gorillas. This support is extended to them so that they keep the great work of protection of the park amidst the pandemic of COVID 19 that has seen a drop-in revenue earnings for UWA,” she noted.
On behalf of Chief Warden BMCA, John Justice Tibesigwa, Senior Warden Southern Sector Bwindi Impenetrable National Park thanked the “Friends of Rafiki” for supporting UWA staff in their effort to conserve wildlife. He pledged total commitment on behalf of the staff of Bwindi to put the donated items to good use which will culminate into better protection for the National Park and all the resources there. He further thanked Ms. Lydia Nadundu for delivering the items to the Nkuringo as the first point beneficiaries in Bwindi.
Tibesigwa noted that the items would go a long way to enable staff in Nkuringo sector carry out their duties of protection of the Park and its invaluable resources especially the endangered mountain gorillas during these unprecedented times of the global pandemic of COVID 19. In the early days of the nationwide lock down in March 2020, rising cases of poaching were recorded across protected areas in Uganda.
In Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area, the lock down period recorded the unfortunate killing of Rafiki, the silverback head of Nkuringo gorilla family by poachers. The items were donated by the ”Friends of Rafiki” to the rangers to honour his memory and contribution to the welfare and well-being of the Bwindi community as well a tourism.