USAID/UGANDA BIODIVERSITY PROGRAM.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID and implemented by African Wildlife Foundation in partnership with Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda.

Under the Program, two (2) main activities are being implemented and these activities include:

1) ECOLOGICAL MONITORING CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT.

Activity:

(i) Construction of forest monitoring Joint Ranger Outposts along the 57-kilometer trail of Budongo Central Forest Reserve (CFR).

In the northern section of Budongo CFR, we constructed two (2) joint National Forest Authority (NFA) & Community Ranger Outposts at Hanga and in Busingiro Ecotourism Site located on the South westerly aspect of Budongo CFR. The buildings include; office, staff accommodation toilets and bathrooms. Also at the constructed ranger outposts, boom gates have also been installed at both  entrances into the Budongo CFR to regulate illegal entry.

(ii) A Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communication system Installed in Budongo and Kalinzu CFRs.

At the out posts also, a Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communication system was installed. The communication system (168.4375 MHz/ 173.4375 MHz) which we exclusively assigned to NFA includes 2 mobile radios with integrated Bluetooth audio and data and integrated GPS, 18 portable radio handsets (3 digital and 15 analogues), and1 repeater and base station. In Kalinzu, there has been installation of a base station and 5 handheld radios.The radio communication system is enabling easy coordination between NFA staff during forest patrol monitoring.

(iii) Training of NFA Staff in Collection and Analysis of Ecological Data in BCFR.

NFA staff, tourist guides and Community Forest Management (CFM) monitoring groups were trained in using the new Forest Watcher App installed on the Open Data Kits donated to them which enables users to identify, allocate and collect data on illegalities within Ugandan forests. Since the groups’ main challenge for data collection was the limited access to electricity for charging the hand-held electronic monitoring devices, and limited access to internet for uploading of data, USAID/Uganda BP provided nine (9) long life Power Banks (heavy duty batteries) and one (1) internet modem to Kalinzu CFR monitoring team as well as six (6) long life Power Banks (heavy duty batteries) and one (1) internet modem to Budongo CFR.

Right now a total of over 40 personnel from National Forest Authority (Forest Guides, Patrolmen, Forest Supervisors and Sector Managers) and community forest Monitors around Kalinzu and Budongo central forest reserves have been deployed and are currently collecting biodiversity and tourism related data in the respective forests. The groups are currently collecting and uploading data to a central database for analysis and action.

2)  CONSERVATION ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

ACTIVITY: Supporting CFM groups of Budongo and Kalinzu to increase honey production in order to increase their household income

In partnership with Malaika Honey a private honey production and exporting company in Uganda, we  are  training and supporting selected bee keeping farmers/groups (CFM groups and the riverine associations) both in-forest and at the fringes in Kalinzu and Budongo forests in increasing honey production in order to increase their household income.

The target groups  so far include; Swazi Banyanjuki, Swazi Bataka and Rwenyamihondo groups in Kalinzu CFR -l membership of 75 people (30% females), and Kapeeka Integrated Community Development Association (KICODA) 101 beneficiaries (32 females) from Budongo CFR and 66 farmers (males = 51 and females = 15) under KACODA in the Kasongoire area .

The above mentioned beneficiaries have also received about 2000 apiculture equipment  including, modern top bar beehives, sets of full honey harvesting gears, bee harvesting gloves, gum boots, hive tools, bee brushes, smokers, re-sealable 20 litre buckets and beekeeping guide books  to help them in beekeeping.

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