In Uganda, wildlife is protected by the Government on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the people of Uganda (The Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019). The Government of Uganda established Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) under the Uganda Wildlife Act, Cap 200 to manage wildlife in protected areas including National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Community Wildlife Management Areas, Wildlife Sanctuaries among other areas following strict conservation procedures that limit or entirely exclude human activities. Wildlife is officially managed in gazetted protected areas such as Queen Elizabeth, Semuliki, Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls, Kibale, Mount Elgon, Mgahinga Gorilla, Rwenzori Mountains, Bwindi Impenetrable and Kidepo Valley. Wildlife that strays onto private land can be the impetus for conflicts between the government and private landowners when wildlife compete for resources with livestock or destroy crops on agricultural lands.
Although the Uganda Wildlife Authority has the mandate to manage wildlife outside the protected areas. it does not because it has no control over private lands. Private land and landowners have a right to use their land the way they wish (Ugandan Constitution, 1995). The National Land Use Policy, 2006 cites weakness of policy and legal mechanisms for wildlife conservation outside protected areas. Wildlife on private land is largely unprotected. Wait for the 2rd episode next week.