ENTEBBE – In a bid to protect Uganda’s wild species and their habitats, Diamond Trust Bank – DTB has contributed a sum of shs30 million to Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) – Entebbe Zoo to help in wildlife management at the Centre.
The bank has also named a six-month-old baby Giraffe – Diamond as a fulfillment of a UWEC Initiative to attract the private sector in conservation through taking up animal guardianship and support in conservation education.
Diamond, who will be making a year in July 2023 was born in July 2022 to Seguya (male giraffe) and Mother Murchison who are both residents in the zoo. Giraffes are large-hoofed African mammals to the genus Giraffa. It is the tallest living terrestrial animal and largest ruminant on earth.
“One thing I want to tell you, we selected a giraffe because it is an animal that is growing taller and taller and so is Diamond Trust Bank. That is symbolic why DTB selected a giraffe and not a hyena,” said DTB Managing Director Mr. Varghese Thambi.
“DTB is now with 36 branches and all these branches will be your (UWEC) communication centers for promoting animals, you can keep your materials at our bigger premium banking centers for them to be easily accessed by our clients,” he noted.
Mr. Thambi also pledged to give a subsidy to all their Platinum customers every year to enable them to visit the Centre.
He also urged OWEC management to allow DTB staff and their families to visit the zoo at a subsidized cost, noting that it will be a good promotion strategy for the Centre.
Mr. David Musingo, the Acting Executive Director at Entebbe Zoo commended the bank for giving them a hand, noting that baptizing the giraffe with a name means a lot to UWEC operations.
“Baptizing a young giraffe is one of the strategies to bring people close to conservation. So, we are happy and we appeal to other institutions to come and work with us. These shs30 million will give us mileage in terms of wildlife management, promoting conservation education across the country.”
He noted that the population of giraffes is increasing because they have increased the habitats and this partnership is paving a way for conserving and passing on education to young people and the forthcoming generation.
“In the past, we only had two places where giraffes were found; that is Murchison Falls and Kidepo National Parks. Recently, giraffes were translocated to Kyanupe in Karamoja and more giraffes were translocated to Lake Mburo and all these are reproducing,” he said.
Mr. Musingo, however, decried several challenges faced with wildlife conservation, the biggest being poaching which he says is not about to stop because of population pressure which is reducing the habitats. He, however, warned that they are not seated and are devising all means to see that these species survive.
He observes that UWEC will continue working with DTB in annual conservation events like international giraffe day aiming at creating awareness of the giraffes among the young growing generation in the country.
He lauded Ugandans who make up about 90% of their visitors, for loving and supporting their country.
DTB joined Entebbe Zoo in conserving nature as part of its Corporate Social responsibility initiatives and its agenda to improve the conversation in the communities it operates.
“Diamond Trust Bank believes that if the environment is well conserved, the people lives better. An ecosystem with wildlife adds a lot to humanity as it provides many remedies to human life,” Thambi said, adding that, “For the things that the giraffe sees out there, to us as DTB, we see the future for the people that are banking with us and banking on us. For our services, we believe that we are like the giraffe looking ahead and that’s why we named it Diamond.”
Founded in the 1950s, UWEC accommodates confiscated and injured wildlife and looks after orphaned animals confiscated from smugglers, the center has grown considerably in recent years.
Touring at OWEC, Ugandans pay shs10,000 and children shs5,000 whereas foreigners part with shs30,000.