RUKIGA: The International Crane Foundation, ICF on Tuesday February 14th handed over planting Seeds to the 324 farmers in Rukiga district which are equivalent to 25,920 kg of Irish potato seeds and 32400kg of bean seeds.
The International Cranes Foundation, field officer Phionah Orishaba revealed that they have signed a conservation agreement with the community conservation groups in Rukiga District witnessed by the district officials, which grants them authority to monitor and see how the conservation of the Rushebeya-Kanyabaha wetland is being managed for communities and Cranes to equally benefit.
The Rukiga District Resident Commissioner,Mr. Fred Nayebare appealed to the beneficiaries to sustainably use the donation on development and increasing their household income.
The Rukiga District Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Nsimwe John also asked the beneficiaries to avoid selling nor eating the seeds provided to them but rather use them to develop their families.
Some of the beneficiaries said that they are committed to conserving the environment and teaching other community members amidst several challenges they face.
The Rushebeya – Kanyabaha Wetland covers 5.47 km2 it is at an altitude of 1930m above sea level and is surrounded by rural communities that cultivate the upslopes.
The International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds and flyways on which they depend. They provide knowledge, leadership and inspiration to engage people in resolving threats to cranes and their diverse landscapes.
For 50 years, they’ve made it a mission to save cranes and their habitats while improving the lives of the people who consider these birds neighbors worldwide. Cranes aren’t just any bird – they’re an eco-diplomat that connects us all to each other and the places we call home.
In the year 2022, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and the Commissioner of Wildlife warned people against killing the Crested Cranes, saying they will either face a life imprisonment or pay a Shs20b fine.
The crested crane, chosen as Uganda’s national symbol nearly 100 years ago, is one of the most cherished birds in the country.
The bird, scientifically known as Balearica regulorum gibbericeps, inhabited Uganda’s swamps and fields.
It has 16 different species in the world, four of which are found in Africa, including the ‘great’ Grey Crowned Crane in Uganda. There are about 8,000 Crested Cranes left in Uganda, down from 35,000 in 1989, according to the ministry.
By Ambrose Kweronda