INTEGRATED CONSERVATION AND PUBLIC HEALTH THROUGH COMMUNITY ANIMAL HEALTH WORKERS AROUND PIAN UPE WILDLIFE RESERVE IN KARAMOJA
CTPH is implementing a new project called “Integrated Conservation and Public Health Through Community Animal Health Workers in and around Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve in Karamoja” in partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority, Nakapiritpirit District and Community Animal Health Workers. This project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the French Embassy in Uganda, Social Development Fund (SDF).
The overall goal of this project is to strengthen the capacity of Community Animal Health Workers (CAHW)s to promote conservation by monitoring, detecting and responding to disease outbreaks and cross species transmission between humans, livestock and wildlife in communities around Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Karamoja region and educating their community about good conservation practices including not grazing illegally and poaching game meat as well as good public health practices including improving hygiene and sanitation, which will in turn reduce cross species disease transmission.
We expect the project to achieve the following results:
An established network of Conservation Community Animal Health Workers (CCAHWs) facilitating education and delivery of health and conservation outreach around Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Reduced incidences of illegal grazing, poaching and feeding on fresh game meat through ranger based monitoring data collected by UWA
Reduced incidences of wildlife-livestock-human disease outbreaks and transmission within and around Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Improved household hygiene and sanitation according to the Ministry of Health indicators, as well as increased referrals of suspected infectious disease patients
Improved livestock husbandry practices among Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve communities
Improved community attitudes to biodiversity conservation
ABOUT PIAN UPE WILDLIFE RESERVE
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area in the Karamoja sub region of North Eastern Uganda. The name “Pian Upe” comes from the Karamajong local dialect and it means “Friendly Enemy.” Pian Upe is under management of the Mount Elgon Conservation Area. It is located in 8 districts and was gazetted in 1965. It is the second largest protected area in Uganda, and one of the most threatened wildlife reserves due to poaching and uncontrolled grazing. The increasing human-wildlife interactions increases the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks and cross-species transmission between wildlife, livestock and people predisposing them to diseases such as Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Rift Valley Fever and Anthrax.
Regarded as the green belt of Karamoja region, teaming with wildlife in the 1970s, and a critical habitat for many rare and endangered species in a region adversely affected by climate change, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is experiencing various external pressures threatening the extinction of its rich biodiversity.
The reserve once supported healthy populations of lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, but these are now locally extinct. The last giraffe was reportedly poached in 1995. Rare species including roan antelope, cheetah and wild dog can be found in small numbers. The remaining and most commonly sighted mammal in the reserve is the Oribi. On our trip we also saw ostriches and hartebeest. Recent census revealed the following animal populations in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve: baboons, buffalos, bushbucks, bush pigs, dik-diks, duiker, eland, hares, Uganda kob, oribi, ostriches, reedbuck, warthogs and waterbucks.
CTPH team, Pian -Upe Wildlife Reserve staff, Sarah Mokri from the French Embassy and Morgan the Crested Crane pet during one of the field visits in Mourajore, Karamoja