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New Field HQ in Uganda
01 March 2005

After more than eight years successful, community based conservation activity around the gorilla habitat in Rwanda and DR Congo, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Europe has taken the decision to move its field headquarters to neighbouring Uganda, where its programme has until now been more low-key.

Emmanuel Bugingo, the Fund’s programme manager in Rwanda, will continue to run the Rwanda projects from the DFGF resource centre in Ruhengeri, where he has been based for the past three years. Ruhengeri is ideally suited to be the centre of operations in Rwanda, being just minutes from the edge of the national park and the gorilla habitat. “In fact, it is just the field administration that will now be dealt with in Uganda,” he told Digit News. “Our programme of community conservation activities in Rwanda will continue unchanged.” A new operations manager, Mrs. Joyce Kigozi, formerly of the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, has been appointed to set up the new HQ in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Kampala is a business hub for the whole east African region and Uganda is one of the continent’s strongest economies. “We now hope to replicate the amazing results we have achieved in Rwanda and DRC in the past few years in Uganda,” says Kigozi.

“We made a good start here in 2003 when our Uganda programme manager, Agnes Kanyaginya,
opened our resource centre in Kisoro, near the gorilla parks in south west Uganda, and began working with the schools and the local beekeepers’ association. Now we need to expand our programme to include, amongst other things, wildlife clubs and micro-credit, two community activities that have proved themselves to be highly beneficial to conservation.” “Community projects that give local people a genuine stake the management of a threatened environment – in this case the gorilla parks – can change people’s attitudes for the better in

a surprisingly short timeframe,” claims the Fund’s director, Jillian Miller. She says the Fund’s resource centres attract gorilla tourists as well as local people.

They provide education and training as well as hands-on management for around 20 conservation projects. The new field HQ will provide instant back-up for the managers and should help leverage regional funding from the international donor community.
 
 
Photo shows DFGF staff Henry Cirhuza and Regina Sanyu (left and centre) welcoming the Fund's new Operations Manager, Joyce Kigozi (right).

Digit News is proud to announce that Agnes Kanyaginya gave birth to Rodney, a healthy baby boy, born in Kampala on April 22nd. Our congratulations go to Agnes and her husband on becoming parents for the first time.
for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org