UWA to Roll Out Smart Card Use to Five More Parks

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In short
Charles Tumwesigye, the Deputy Director Conservation UWA, says the smart card system will roll to Mghahinga, Kidepo Valley, Mt Elgon, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National parks this year.

Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA will roll out the smart card payment system to five more national parks in the country this year. The smart card payment system is already in use in Lake Mburo, Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale, and Murchison Falls parks. The cards are used along the cash payment system.

 
Charles Tumwesigye, the Deputy Director Conservation UWA, says the smart card system will roll to Mghahinga, Kidepo Valley, Mt Elgon, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National parks this year. He says their plan was to phase out the use of cash in the National parks by December last year, but this didn't work.


He says they will re-strategies to see how soon the use of cash can be phased out from the national parks. The smart card payment system allows visitors to the parks to pay services electronically thereby eliminating the need to carry large amounts of cash. The card contains a microchip that is used by reservation officers to load the game tracking details and electronic payments.

 
The Wildlife card system controls and deducts the different fees according to the services provided and records the information of each visitor, which is expected to enhance service delivery and improve relationship management.  There are two sets of Wildlife Cards including the temporary cards and personalized cards.
 
 
The temporary cards are recyclable and issued to one-off park visitors while personalized cards are issued to customers who want to have them permanently. Dr. Andrew Seguya, the UWA Executive Director, says they are also planning to introduce mobile money payments as an alternative to cash payments.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.