Uganda to deploy drones in anti-poaching drive

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:29

“We are in talks with various suppliers. We will buy about two drones. They will monitor all parks during the day and at night,” Andrew Seguya, UWA executive director, was quoted saying in the state-owned newspaper, The New vision.

We will buy about two drones. They will monitor all parks during the day and at night

An effective tool during warfare, the small unmanned aircraft carry cameras and image intensifiers among other accurate sensors and will be deployed in the country’s national parks to monitor wildlife.

Recent reports point to an increase in the poaching of elephants in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

Environmental and animal protection agencies claim the number of elephants and rhinos are dwindling, as they are the most targeted by poachers.

UWA claims that the number of elephants killed has risen from three in 2009 to over 10 a year.

Seguya said despite the high costs involved in the operation of drones, the government’s resolve to conserve wildlife and guard the tourism sector won’t be deterred.

A flight hour costs between $2,500 and $3,500, UWA’s executive director said.

He also said the wildlife authority spends about 70 per cent of its budget on conservation work, where monitoring against poaching falls.

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