It is that time of the year when we take stock of the year 2022 which will soon be behind us.
At Uganda Wildlife Authority, 2022 has been a great year in which we registered impressive milestones for our conservation work. We signed three concession agreements to develop high end tourism accommodation facilities in Murchison Falls National Park and Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in Queen Elizabeth Protected Area. These will offer the much needed services to high end visitors who love luxury. To us, the signing of these agreements is a vote of confidence in our work and Uganda as a destination.
On the strategic front, we have placed a lot of emphasis on strengthening wildlife protection, tackling wildlife crime, mitigating negative impacts of human wildlife conflict and promoting our protected areas as tourist destinations. We have been aggressive in strengthening our relationships with the communities neighboring protected areas and continued to share benefits. We disbursed UGX 9.5 billion revenue share to our communities.
Visitor numbers to our protected areas increased to 265,539 collecting UGX 69 billion in financial year 2021/22 compared to 103,812 visitors and UGX 21 billion in financial year 2020/21. We responded to 6,872 out of 7,861 reported cases of human wildlife conflicts, constructed 45.4 kilometres of electric fence, added 12 vehicles to our fleet and cleared 2,220 hectares of invasive species. We opened 117 kilometres of fire lines, and commissioned a fully equipped biosafety level II laboratory in QENP. So far a total of 600 samples have been tested in the lab. We conducted 19,360 patrols across the country, arrested 2,837 suspects and recovered of 26,578 assorted poaching implements and assorted wildlife and wildlife products. We secured 133 convictions out of the 304 cases that we prosecuted in the courts of law while many are still ongoing.
These achievements would not have been possible without the support of our stakeholders especially the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, conservation partners, tour and hotel operators as well as the media.
We have continued to engage you our stakeholders through formal and informal interactions and you have been instrumental in shaping how we operate through your invaluable feedback.
We appreciate your support and guidance that has enable us to take the right path towards achieving our strategic objectives.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2023.