In a bid to avert the increasing incidences of wildlife trafficking between Uganda and Kenya, the two countries are developing new strategy to help conservation agencies protect wildlife.
The new strategy will look at three most sensitive areas that are powering wildlife trafficking between Kenya and Uganda.
UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha while speaking at the closing of a four-day Cross Border Law Enforcement Training said the increasing trafficking of wildlife is due to the high demands for the products in most Asian countries.
“The new strategy which the two conservation agencies are about to adopt will be a game changer in combating wildlife trafficking between Uganda and Kenya,” he said.
The proposed strategy will be implemented by Uganda Wildlife Authority and Kenya’s Wildlife Services.
Mwandha noted that poaching in both countries has reduced due to the strengthening of security organs especially in national parks and game reserves.
“Our routes are being used by the dealers as transits routes to Asia because of the loopholes on the boarder entries especially on the side of Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaba and Busia, but we are ready to ensure that security at those points are beefed up to ensure that illegal wildlife products are intercepted before getting its way to international markets especially in China and Thailand.”
Mwandha said they will be carrying out more sensitization about the danger of wildlife trafficking in most Asian Countries to ensure that the market providers understand the economic value attached to wildlife conservation and also the dangers associated with wildlife trafficking.
The training for Uganda cross border Law enforcement was organized by UWA with financial support from the International Fund for the Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The training was also attended by participant’s from Law enforcement agencies from UWA ,Civil Aviation Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Police Kenya Wildlife Service , ISO and Migration both from Uganda and Kenya.
Commenting on the outcome of the training, IFAW Head of programs Steve Njimb said it has equipped the participants with adequate skills and if used professionally it can yield positive results.
Some participants who attended the training said they have learnt a lot but for the training to be productive, the two countries should allocate more resources in the implementation of the strategy.
“The strategy is good but more resources should be allocated to the various enforcement agencies to enable them carry out their enforcement duties without being compromised by the wildlife traffickers especially when it comes to carrying out investigations,” said one of the participants.