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By Wolfgang H.Thome  May 2013

The Uganda Wildlife Authority has recently launched the Semanya Marine Ranger Station on the banks of the River Nile, from where regular anti poaching patrols are now operating to monitor in particular the open access across Lake Albert into the Murchisons Falls National Park.
The station was built and equipped through financial contributions from a number of conservation supporters but in particular it was the effort of the Uganda Conservation Foundation (www.ugandacf.org) which has been working hand in hand with UWA to fight the poaching menace.

Leading Ugandan corporates, like the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Nile Breweries and Sadolin Paints, among others, equally gave donations as did the Murchisons Falls International Fishing Tournament, an annual event with proceeds going to conservation causes.

Nearly two dozen rangers are now based at the station and currently operate with one boat, though additional equipment is reportedly being procured to make the outstation even more effective.

Already on day one of operations were several poachers caught, reportedly posing as innocent fishermen but found with snares and other poachers tools, leading to their immediate arrest and now awaiting prosecution.
The Nile delta, where the Victoria Nile enters Lake Albert, is a maze of little islands and swamps, rich in game and as such a tempting site for poachers, who can access the national park side of the lake across the open waters with little opposition from rangers, until now that is.
Poaching has moved from subsistence level to take a more commercial outlook in recent years, as in particular elephant have been targeted in Uganda, though plains game is much sought after too to fuel a growing bush meat trade. However, as UWA emerged from the turmoil inflicted on the organization by the rash actions of the self- styled Minister of Crocodiles and his choice chairman of the board, both of them thankfully no longer in office, has the focus on antipoaching gained momentum once again. Thanks to the Uganda Conservation Foundation and all the
donors to this immensely valuable and important addition to the Murchisons Falls NP infrastructure.

Air Uganda yesterday received their third Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft, leased from American aircraft leasing company GECAS. This brings the total fleet of Air Uganda to presently four, including one remaining MD 87 aircraft, the only one on the fleet with a two class Business and Economy layout.
The leased aircraft is, like the two others, a 50 seater all economy configured aircraft and will allow the airline to back up their recently announced third daily frequency to Juba and the newly introduced flights from Entebbe via Kilimanjaro to Mombasa.
Air Uganda, which started up in 2007, is now flying from Entebbe, as quasi national airline of Uganda, to Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Kigali, Bujumbura and Juba.
The next destination for Air Uganda will be Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, where Uganda has a large contingent of troops and where business opportunities are now opening up for Ugandan entrepreneurs and traders, requiring scheduled flights from Entebbe without having to travel via Nairobi or other airports in the wider region. Cornwall Muleya, who started to work at Air Uganda as CEO on April 01st, was quoted in a media release sent to this correspondent earlier today as having said: The new aircraft is going to facilitate our operations to the newly planned routes but also enable seamless service on our current network. We are therefore very excited about this acquisition and believe this to be part of the tremendous growth Air Uganda will experience this year.
Visit www.air-uganda.com for more information on schedules, fares and to make bookings. 



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