TARA’s David Coulson and Gloria Borona attended a grant signing ceremony in Kumi District, Uganda on 21 September, 2010. The grant was provided though the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. The donation of USD 37,000 will be received by Uganda’s Department of Museums and Monuments to preserve Nyero rock paintings and other rock art of the Karamoja region.
Speaking at the at the ceremony, Deputy Chief of the US Mission, Virginia Blaser said, “Various human activities including granite mining, charcoal burning, agricultural activity and graffiti place the Nyero paintings in jeopardy. It is vital that we work together with the communities surrounding these sites to educate those who would destroy these cultural treasures about the richness that the paintings hold for both historians and future economic development in the area.” The Museum and Monuments Department was represented by Rose Mwanja Nkaale, Jackline Nyiracyiza and Emmanuel Ourum.
This request was submitted after a joint survey mission undertaken by TARA and the Department of Museums and Monuments in September, 2009. When speaking at the ceremony TARA’s executive chairman underscored the importance of engaging the local communities in conservation efforts. The small but colourful ceremony was attended by dozens of community members who entertained guests with traditional songs and dance. TARA and the Museum and Monuments Department used this opportunity to enter into a five year Memorandum of Understanding to work together to conserve Uganda’s rock art heritage.