Geoffrey Mwedde, Chief of Party of the USAID/Uganda CWC Activity hands over equipment to Mr. Sam Mwanda, Chairperson of the National Wildlife Crime Coordination Task Force at Uganda Wildlife Authority. Photo by Louisa Kiggwe/WCS
KAMPALA, UGANDA On May 5, 2020, the USAID/Uganda Combating Wildlife Crime Activity donated office equipment worth US$4,240 to the National Wildlife Crime Coordination Task Force (NWCCTF) to
facilitate timely communication, coordination and cooperation. The equipment which included two Dell OptiPlex 7070 desktop computers and accessories; one HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227sdn colour printer with scan and fax capability; APC UPS power backup batteries for the desktops and printer; and two filing cabinets, will facilitate coordination at the NWCCTF secretariat. The equipment will also facilitate effective management of the Online Wildlife Offenders Database, and strengthen utilization of the secure information sharing platform, a platform that facilitates communication, coordination and cooperation on anti-wildlife crime activities among agencies on the task force.
The USAID/Uganda Combating Wildlife Crime Activity is implemented by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and aims to reduce wildlife crime in Uganda by strengthening the capacity of stakeholders including the NWCCTF to detect, deter and prosecute wildlife crime.
The task force is made up of 13 security and law enforcement institutions. It aims to promote law enforcement, institutional collaboration, and ensures effective cross border control of illegal wildlife trade - a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry and a transnational threat that is undermining Uganda’s tourism revenue earning and national security - through sharing information, intelligence, facilities and equipment, undertaking joint operations, prosecutions, and raising awareness about wildlife crime.
In his brief remarks, Mr. Sam Mwandha, Chairperson of the NWCCTF and Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority appreciated USAID for the donation. “We are happy to receive these resources because they will facilitate better communication between and among the 13 task force member institutions. They will further help us to make the necessary reports to bring wildlife criminals to book. We thank USAID for the resources, and we pledge to utilize these resources appropriately to deliver our mandate to reduce wildlife crime in Uganda,” he said.
Geoffrey Mwedde, Chief of Party of the USAID/Uganda Combating Wildlife Crime Activity emphasized the need to strengthen the multi-agency approach in combating wildlife crime. “With this equipment, the Secretariat will be able to strengthen interagency communication and improve coordination of intelligence activities, operations, investigations and prosecutions of wildlife crime”.