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UWEC gets donation after counting loses

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) commonly known as (Entebbe Zoo) has started receiving donations for maintaining the animals.

The Indian Community headed by Vim Patel family on Thursday gave out relief food like vegetables and a cheque for 1 million shillings to the animal centre. A million shillings is equivalent of three to four days’ entrance collections under the current conditions under Covid-19 restriction SOPs.

Patel said that businesses continue to suffer huge losses with the sudden closure brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown and this has not spared UWEC which is also counting losses after it remained closed for about five months.

Estimations put the losses suffered by the animal centre at Shs 2 billion during the 5-months it remained closed under the Covid-19 lockdown. The centre reopened on August 8, 2020, but some programs still remain closed like animal for a day program and behind the scenes.

But most parts of the facility are now open including accommodation facilities and restaurants. Dr. James Musinguzi, the UWEC executive director says the zoo is following strict guidelines and the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as issued by the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Musinguzi added that only 30 to 40 people come in a day compared to the 300 people who are provided for to access the animal centre on a given day. Limiting the number of visitors is among the  standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have to be followed by the tourists.

Only visitors who are above 6 years and can ably wear masks are allowed to access the centre. UWEC has maintained entrance fees at shs 5,000 for children under 14 and sh 10,000 for adults. UWEC used to receive an average of 400,000 visitors every year especially foreigners and school-going children.

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