The Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA has started hearing compensation claims from persons who have been affected by wildlife.
In 2021, President, Museveni assented to the amended Wildlife Act in 2019. The new law provides for a compensation fund for persons who suffer bodily injury or are killed or suffer damage to their property by wild animals.
According to the law, the government will affect the compensation when the person’s legal representative submits a claim to the wildlife compensation verification committee.
The committee shall then verify a claim and submit it to the board together with its recommendation.
John Makombi, the Director in charge of Conservation at UWA says that the ultimate goal is to compensate for every case so that people are positive about wildlife management.
Makombi says that the authority will start with 20 cases after regulations under the new Wildlife act came into effect on 5th August this year.
Makombi however said the verification committee is facing a challenge of poor case presentation where some of the claimants lack sufficient evidence to sustain their compensation claims. He said UWA is soon starting awareness of the new law.
Dan Kahungu, a farmer in Kasese town says the new law will safeguard from wildlife acts since UWA was initially extending compassionate contributions which often were less than the value of life or property someone losses.
Communities in Kasese District that neighbor Queen Elizabeth National Park have several times lost their livelihoods to wildlife and blamed the government for delaying operationalizing the new law.
In August, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities said that it had earmarked more than 900 Million Shillings to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflict. The funds are a cumulative 2 percent of the total annual revenue being generated by UWA.