Last week, a group of poachers handed over their weapons to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and denounced poaching at Ndugtu Secondary School, Bugoye sub-country in Kasese.

In return, UWA resorted to reward ex-poachers with domestic animals as an alternative for economic empowerment, according to Daily Monitor.

“We at UWA have done a lot of community awareness about wildlife conservation, used different interventions but wildlife in the country has continued to dwindle,” James Okware, senior warden at Rwenzori Mountains National Park, has told the Daily Monitor. “[Which is] why we have now opted to rewarding the ex-poachers as an alternative means of survival.”

Ex-poachers from Mt. Rwenzori National Park formed two groups; Kinyaangeya and Mapata Anti. Okware said they gave those groups five piglets each to see whether they can take on the challenge of taking care of the animals.

“We have give out 10 piglets to two groups as a way of gauging whether they can manage the project and once they look after them well, UWA shall add them more,”added Okware.

Okware shared that the number of poachers being arrested had increased, thanks to a whole lot of community development and awareness projects.

“It is difficult now to tell whether poaching has reduced at this point but what I want to say is that poaching cases have increased due to vigilance since many incidents would go unnoticed but we shall be able to measure the success may be after five years and see the progress,” he said.

Lt. Joe Walusimbi, Kasese Resident District commissioner, cautioned ex-poachers to surrender their guns and they might be penalized once they are caught with it.

“I want you o bring all our guns for you to be safe but if you don’t and we get you, we shall not forgive you because you are an ex-poacher,” he said.

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