Meet Ujeni

“If people had enough to eat, they wouldn’t go there (to the National Park). What takes people there is poverty…”

Ujeni lives across the river from Murchison Falls National Park with his wife, children and grandchildren.

His family have lived here for generations. Over the years life has become increasingly difficult.

The weather has become more unpredictable, making it difficult to grow crops.

Like many people in this region, Ujeni struggles to feed his family and there are few jobs.

Living with Wildlife - Hero Shot - Ujeni
“The problem is we have no food. Between morning and now, morning to sunset, we have not tasted food all day.”

The family’s only income comes from collecting and selling firewood. They earn just 40-60p a day.

Some people feel they have no choice but to row across the river and lay traps in the National Park. They hope to catch something to feed their families and sell.

It’s a huge risk. And its consequence are devastating for people and endangered wildlife.

“What makes people hunt is the same thing as what used to make me. They are looking for something for income.”

The Living with Wildlife Appeal will train over 7,000 families, including Ujeni’s, to make the most of their land and grow crops so that they can have nutritious food to eat, all year round.

Families and young people in the area will also be supported to start their own small businesses and learn vocational skills, such as agroforestry and construction, to help them find sustainable ways of making a living that don’t endanger wildlife.

This will enable people living around Murchison Falls to break the cycle of poverty permanently and will mean that they are no longer pressured to hunt within the National Park, helping to protect endangered wildlife such as the Rothschild’s giraffe.

“If I use this land well, we have a future.”

Meet Julius

“Imagine you’re a parent. You have hungry children, there is no food in the house, you’ve gone out to look for food – what would you do to get food home?”

Julius is a Project Co-ordinator for Send a Cow Uganda. For over 12 years he’s helped families utilise their land and transform their lives.

He has worked and lived in Northern Uganda for decades. He understands the challenges facing local people.

I’m confident people and wildlife can live together.
Julius

Working hand-in-hand with families, Julius and his team support people to make the most of the soil beneath the feet. They train families how to grow their own food and how to start small businesses which can generate a vital income for school fees, medicines and home repairs.

Uganda has such enormous potential, just waiting to be tapped …every bit of soil can grow something. All we need to do is give people the right support and the sky is the limit.

A vet by profession, Julius is a huge animal lover. He is passionate about changing the situation surrounding Murchison Falls National Park for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

“The thing is that we know the solution. If we can assist people to grow food, provide them with livelihood options and engage them so they understand the importance of the wildlife, then we can change the situation.”
Living with Wildlife - Joska

Dedicated staff like Julius will be a crucial part of the Living with Wildlife project. They’ll give local people the skills and confidence to grow their own food and start small businesses. With a stable income, they can lift themselves out of poverty and won’t need to hunt illegally in the National Park. This in turn will preserve Murchison Falls National Park as a haven for Uganda’s endangered wildlife, such as the Rothschild’s giraffe.

Meet Patrick

By giving people other sources of income, we can protect these wild animals, not just for Uganda but for the whole world.

Patrick is a conservationist. He has worked for the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) for 14 years. He has worked hard to restore Murchison Falls National Park.

The Park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including a number of endangered species and four of the ‘big five’ animals. Over the years, he has seen first-hand the damage illegal traps can do.

Just two months ago, I was here in Murchison Falls National and we found a Rothschild’s giraffes trapped in a snare. The snare had done a lot of damage to its hind leg and the more it struggled to get out, the more the wire cut into its skin.

Patrick believes people are key to effective conservation. He works tirelessly to educate local communities about the importance of the Park.

As part of the Living with Wildlife Appeal, UCF staff like Patrick will teach schoolchildren about environmental issues and solutions.

This will create young conservation champions. At home they can discourage their families from poaching. When they grow up they will also turn away from poaching.

UCF will also train young people in vocational skills. With skills such as agroforestry and construction, they will find sustainable ways of making a living. So they can thrive without endangering wildlife.

 

“The Living with Wildlife project will shift the mindsets of the communities neighbouring the park so that they don’t depend on wild animals for poaching but instead, turn towards other livelihoods that can benefit them.”

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