Save Uganda’s Wildlife Initiative (SUWI) was established in 2008 by a small group of Tourism Professionals that initially spearheaded a campaign against wildlife poaching. In 2015, SUWI was registered as an Not-For-Profit Organization in Uganda. Since its creation, SUWI focused on revealing and reporting incidents of wildlife poaching and the illegal trade of Uganda’s wildlife resources. It was believed initially, that controlling these two factors would somehow greatly improve the situation.
It soon became evident that there were other, equally important issues that needed to be addressed in addition to poaching and the illegal trade of the various mammals, primates and birds that are in many cases unique to East Africa. These significant topics relate more to the environment that the various wildlife species living in it. Some of these are encroachment by humans on the feeding and breeding areas of a number of wildlife species. Logging, cultivation of land, charcoal making, urbanization, road building, pollution and waste management are a few of the more devastating human activities affecting the existence of Uganda’s wildlife. Now that oil has been discovered in Uganda, there are huge environmental concerns with regards to not only the drilling and processing of the crude oil, but two pipelines are being planned – one to Kenya, the other to Tanzania. The environmental impact of putting in these pipelines could be huge and there are a number of studies being done as to the negative results on the various wildlife habitats that are going to be in the path of the pipeline. In fact virtually any activity by man that has a negative impact on the environment generally, must be curtailed to help Save Uganda’s Wildlife. To reverse the damages that have been done so far, is not possible, but much can be done in terms of the present and the future, and without action being taken soon, many more species will become extinct in Uganda.
At Save Ugandas Wildlife, we realize that we are not alone in this fight for survival of the earth;s wildlife. In fact, all countries throughout Africa and the globe, for that matter, have a history of doing devastating damage to the environment and the wildlife that live within the forests, lakes, mountains, savannas and even deserts within their borders. SUWI is focusing on Uganda and its particular problems; but we have learned much from both our mistakes and our neighbours’ mistakes. The time is now to address some of these issues that are causing so much stress and damage to Uganda’s wildlife and its various habitats.
In the past few years, great strides have been taken to combat many of these issues, but the surface has just been scratched, and there is much to do in all these areas. On the positive side, Rhinos have been re-introduced to Uganda; the creation of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was established for this sole purpose. New laws pertaining to logging and charcoal production, specifically in the ‘protected forests’ has curtailed much of the devastation, The increased use of Solar as a source of power over firewood and charcoal is also a very positive initiative. Increased manpower to control animal poaching and the illegal trade of animals and animal parts has reduced the incidents of animal kills, again, particularly in the ‘protected’ areas of the country.
Education, stricter laws and better law enforcement are all needed to be expanded. Curbing pollution, better waste management and the use of eco-friendly materials are huge areas that the Ugandan society needs to embrace. Educating the citizens of Uganda and making them responsible for such things as pollution, refuse disposal and making the correct choices in fuel supplies and building materials, will go a long way to improve the increasing damages done to the environment.
Save Uganda’s Wildlife Initiative has created this website to not only bring more attention to these issues but to reveal inadequacies and bring them to the foreground and at the same time applaud those that are making positive steps to do things that are helping to save Uganda’s wildlife.