Murchison Falls Conservation Area, 20th June 2023– Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is supporting the roll out of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tools (SMART) in all the protected areas managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), as part of the USAID/Uganda Combating Wildlife Crime Activity. An assortment of equipment valued at $32,858 was handed over to Dr. Margret Driciru, the Acting Chief Conservation Area Manager at Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), in Mubako.
The handover followed a series of ranger hands on training workshops conducted under the same activity. The SMART tools have both desktop and online capabilities which will support both office and field monitoring and decision-making processes by the park authorities.
To ensure live data collection and reporting, WCS/USAID Combating Wildlife Crime Activity committed to the provision of internet connectivity for 45 ranger outpost stations in MFCA for an initial period of 2 years.
The assorted equipment included three smart phones installed with SMART mobile applications, power banks, solar panels, batteries, desktop computers for running the equipment, communication radios, flashlights, and backpack bags. It is envisaged that the equipment and the SMART tools will support wildlife ranger patrols, data collection, analysis, and efficient decision-making process for timely wildlife interventions including rescues and attending to wildlife emergencies such as problem animals or humn wildlife conflicts in community spaces near the park.
The equipment was handed over to UWA by Mr. Geoffrey Mwedde the Chief of Party for USAID/Uganda Combating Wildlife Crime Activity and Ms. Doreen Tukezibwa, the Representative from USAID Uganda office.