Kampala – The management of Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center also known as Entebbe Zoo says it needs up to 15 billion shillings to take care of animals and maintain scientists.
The center which hosts 291 wild animals of 52 different species has been hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown as 70% of their clients are students and the remaining are international tourists who have all been locked out.
While appearing today before the Parliament committee on National Economy which is scrutinizing the effects of COVID-19 on businesses, James Musinguzi, the Executive Director of the center says they need funding to ensure that the animals are maintained well. He also says they need funds to avoid laying off scientists and critical staff who work at the center.
According to Musinguzi, they need 8.2 billion for operations and 6.6 billion for development in the 2020/2021 financial year.
Musinguzi says they recently appealed to government following the effects of COVID-19 and government availed them with 750 million shillings but also a fundraiser that did get them 50 million shillings which has sustained them so far. He says since the closure, they have lost up to 3 billion shillings.
For animal food and health care, the center requires 1 billion, 2.7 billion for personnel expenses, 1 billion for development of standard operating procedures for the Zoo, and 700 million for outstanding payments to suppliers.
He also says they require 3 billion for satellite wildlife conservation education center, 2.5 billion for a floating restaurant for sustainability, 650 million for construction of animal exhibits and 500 million for CCTV cameras.
Musinguzi says that they need this funding because even when the world reopens, students for instance will be preoccupied with school and have little time to visit the center.