Wildlife, board game and oil in Uganda

This video is called Ugandan Wildlife Authority.

From The East African (Nairobi, Kenya):

Uganda: A Thrilling Tour of Country’s Parks Through a Board Game

Bamuturaki Musinguzi

12 September 2011

A new board game that hopes to promote the sustainable use of Uganda’s natural resources and conserve the country’s wildlife heritage has been launched in the country.

The environmental education board game, called Uganda Snapshot Safari, targets local schools and is centred around Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Mountains national parks in western Uganda.

The idea is the joint effort of the USAid-Star programme — which supports sustainable tourism and biodiversity conservation in the Albertine Rift in western Uganda — with the Wildlife Clubs of Uganda (WCU), Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Jane Goodall Institute and Nature Uganda.

The game, designed for children above 10, features snap photo cards, question cards, two dice, six coloured pawns, a ranger badge, a direction fact sheet and answer key. It also features two communities — the Basongora and Bakonzo — four birds (the lesser flamingo, white-throated bee-eater, Klaas’s cuckoo and painted snipe), as well as four wild animals (a warthog, hippopotamus, elephant and banded mongoose).

The game is played by three to seven players, one of whom is the park ranger, who monitors movement on the trail, making sure the rules are followed and questions are answered correctly.

Nicholas Kagongo Arinaitwe, an artist and wildlife and bird guide provided the illustrations and concept direction. The design and art direction was done by Patrick Papania and Tareq Abdalla. The graphic design was done by Christopher Lwanyaga.

The director of WCU, Joel Musasizi, termed the game as a fun educational tool for children that will increase their knowledge about the country’s parks.

“It puts the national eco-system on the board and superimposes a typical tour around it. Participants encounter wild animals, other cultures, flora and fauna,” said Musasizi at the launch of the game in Kampala on August 29. “We hope that as more people play the game, it will inspire them to visit the park.”

The UWA acting director of tourism and business services, Stephen Sanyi Masaba, said: “The game is an interactive tool that promotes conservation efforts by moving away from the traditional classroom methods.”

Another feature of the Uganda Snapshot Safari programme is a series of 11 children’s books titled The National Treasures of Uganda, authored by Denis Lubega.

“We hope the project will boost wildlife clubs’ capacity to recruit future naturalists and spread conservation awareness to both local and international recipients,” USAid-Star said.

The organisation has handed over 850 board games and 850 books to WCU to distribute to schools around Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori national parks.

The programme also includes other fun activities such as art competitions, writing contests and reading lessons.

It is aimed at revitalising the extensive network of Uganda wildlife clubs by combining non-formal education techniques with biodiversity conservation information.

The Uganda Snapshot Safari also aims at promoting the country as a tourism destination and improving environmental awareness both locally and internationally.

Commercial copies will be made available through WCU. Proceeds from the sale will support further biodiversity efforts through wildlife clubs in participating schools.

Not all is well, unfortunately, with conservation in Uganda.


And then there is Big Oil. Like in the Gulf of Mexico, preferring profits to conservation.

Also from The East African (Nairobi, Kenya:):

Uganda: Nature Lovers Worried By Oil Find Effects

Esther Nakkazi and Dicta Asiimwe

10 September 2011

Uganda is facing criticism for failure to enforce compliance with environmental standards in the oil sector.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority recently rescued two crocodiles from uncovered oil exploration waste pits in what conservationists said was one of many signals that Kampala had failed to ensure oil explorers complied with environmental guidelines.

Uganda in 2006 discovered commercial quantities of hydrocarbons in the Lake Albert Basin along the western border with DR Congo. Exploration firms estimate oil reserves of up to 2.5 billion barrels.

Wildlife officials said the exploration pits should have been fully fenced off.


The authority said it would be conducting a study to determine the trade-off between oil production and conservation within the Albertine Rift.

The study will collect baseline data of ecological distribution in the Rift to feed into the oil policy, now being developed.

“We have the challenge of non-existence of baselines, which increases the likelihood of exploration activities interfering with wildlife,” says Ghad Mugiri, head of Murchison Falls conservation area.

According to the wildlife authority, the study will answer questions about the current trends, the food chain, the fright distance of animals, feeding habits, their breeding and movement patterns to balance oil exploration and wildlife activities.

Fright distance is the minimum distance an animal can bear before it feels it is provoked.


A concurrent study will establish the fright distance for all animals in protected areas. Some animals like elephants and lions are said to be reacting to the oil drilling vibrations, which is affecting their movement patterns.

The study, to run for three years, will be funded by the World Wide Fund and undertaken by Green Belt Consult.

Conservationists are concerned that in the absence of a proper policy, the wildlife corridor in part of the Albertine Rift, which is a protected area, may be disrupted or even destroyed.

The area has shown the biggest oil potential as shown by the exploration activities. Out of the 34 oil and gas wells so far drilled, only two do not have oil.

US deploys 100 troops to fight Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, where mass oil deposit recently found: here.

September 2011: About 50 elephants are being moved to the Massai Mara National Reserve from Narok North, Kenya, in an effort to ease the escalating human-wildlife conflict in the area: here.

4 thoughts on “Wildlife, board game and oil in Uganda

  1. Pingback: Big Oil disturbs Ugandan elephants and villagers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Uganda’s Mabira forest threatened again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Birds and economy in Uganda | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Good Ugandan wildlife news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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