UWA passes out 430 rangers

A total of 430 rangers including 354 men and 76 women aged between 20-30 have been passed out and deployed to different conservation areas to beef the already existing force of 900 in the field.

The pass out ceremony on March 3,2013 was presided over by the President of Republic of Uganda and Commander of the Armed Forces, General Yoweri Museveni at the Murchison Falls Training ground, Nwoya district .The ceremony was witnessed by Hon. Maria Mutagamba the minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, State minister for Wildlife, Ms Agnes Akiror, minister of state and MP Nwoya ,Mr. Richard Todwong, Permanent secretary(MTWA) Ambassador Patrick Mugoya,UWA Board of Trustees, the fourth division commander Brigadier Mbadi, district leaders from Buliisa,Masindi,Kiryandongo and Nwoya among others .

The four and a half months training conducted by UWA in conjunction with UPDF's fourth division Gulu, came after a similar one in 2005 involving 200 rangers ad 400 UPDF men seconded to UWA under Special Wildlife Integrated Force for Tourism(SWIFT).

The Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority, Dr. Andrew Seguya said the recruitment of new staff was a priority set by the new Board of Trustees .He said with a workforce of 1400,UWA is among the biggest employers of young Ugandans ad has now embarked on a massive modernization exercise, which will serve tourism industry better.

Dr. Seguya lamented that the issue of poaching is now being pushed by international syndicates, mainly operating out of South East Asia, that are bank rolling the wanton slaughter of our wildlife, especially elephants. He called upon the sister forces to join in the fight to defeat the criminals.

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