Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 04/05/2018

Batwa community consulted on their situation.

On 12/4/2018 Batwa Indigenous peoples were engaged in a consultative meeting that was organized by Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development and UN in collaboration with UOBDU.

  Batwa being consulted by  the ministry of gender representative

This meeting was held at UOBDU offices in Kisoro. The meeting which included a total of 41 Batwa representatives from the districts of Kisoro and Rubanda, different district leaders from Kisoro like the Chief Administrative Officer, Resident District Commissioner, District Community Development Officer, District Health Officer and District planner also involved a delegation from Kampala comprised of Commissioner for gender, UN representative and a representative from Uganda Human rights commission.

The Batwa are former occupants of Bwindi, Mgahinga and Semliki forests that are now national Parks and under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear views affecting the Batwa indigenous peoples so that they can be included in the ongoing Policy on culture that is being reviewed at the national level. Such similar meetings have also been taking place around Uganda among other Indigenous peoples.

There is hope that if such views are taken into consideration and adopted the livelihood of indigenous Batwa can be improved as people who were evicted from their ancestral lands without any alternative form of survival nor any compensation by the Government of the republic of Uganda for the loss of their ancestral lands.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 17/04/2018

Owning a cow, a big dream in the Batwa community.

Batwa of Sanuriro Nteko , Nyabwishenya sub county, Kisoro district are celebrating due to one of their members Irene Muhawe having received  a  donation of a cow from Batwa Development Programme( BDP) .”I’m also soon going to be drinking my own milk“, said Irene.

Irene is also the first mutwa in her community to construct and live in  a permanent house.This is  a big dream and development within the Batwa community that is regarded as  very poor and needy.

There has also in addition  been the provision of houses  to other community members by the same organisation BDP plus provision of Irish potatoe  seedlings by Gorilla Organisation through UOBDU.

All the above have led the community to move a step  ahead in development.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 02/03/2018

UOBDU and Batwa still truggling to achieve education

In 2008, UOBDU started implementing education project funded by Ford Foundation (FF), where 40 Batwa children were enrolled in the project. The project provided them with boarding amenities which  increased their participation, attendance in class and enhanced their performance as well. However, some of the children were faced with a challenge of dropping out due to early marriages among others.

In 2017, UOBDU had 13 Batwa children in the project (11 boys & 2 girls). Out of this number, 3 children sat for Uganda National Examination Board exams at different levels and  these include; 1 child who sat for Primary Leaving Examinations and other 2 boys that sat for Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE).

Furthermore, from the above mentioned children in the project, 2 Batwa boys are currently  pursuing their degrees at the University.

Thanks to God and congratulations to the 3 Batwa candidates for their success and determination for passing their exams in 2017.

UOBDU is  grateful to Act and Empower for their generous and their continuous  support towards Batwa education.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 26/02/2018

The Batwa traditional knowledge on the forest

Majority of the Batwa are not educated but knowledgeable. This is what is usually termed as traditional knowledge, natural and God given. Traditional knowledge was and is still being practiced by the Batwa  and  has also been passed on from generation to generation ever since  their official eviction from the forests in 1991.

Batwa would use myth and taboos to conserve their ancestral lands thus keeping the forest intact and  hence continuous multiplication of flora and fauna. They also knew the hunting periods and what types of animals to hunt. Gathering of fruits and harvesting of medicinal herbs was also taken care of not forgetting the proper and sustainable collection of firewood. Each group of the Batwa (boys, girls, men, women and clan leaders) had a role to play in the above activities.

Batwa have also been regarded as the best conservationists, ‘If we lived with the gorillas for decades and never harmed  them or even destroyed the forest, why then were we evicted from these forests?, said  Elias Habyarimana a mutwa leader when asked about the role of Batwa in conservation.

When it comes to honey identification, Batwa are the best at observing the movement of different insects to locate honey which can either be in the ground or in the trees. Ground honey is called ‘ubuhura’ and ‘ubuki’ is got from the trees. Only Batwa can lead you to the harvest of the ground honey.

Have you also ever thought of a life without fire or a container to fetch water, this was no worry for the Batwa too as they never required a matchbox to make fire nor a container to fetch water. Batwa would rub identified sticks to make fire and big bamboo to fetch water.Batwa traditional knowledge can never be exhausted.

Despite all the above, the Batwa traditional knowledge can not  be practiced anywhere as the they no longer have access to their ancestral lands. We still believe that Batwa are the best natural conservationists and managing authorities like UWA should always include them  in conserving the forests since they have the traditional knowledge to guard nature.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 08/02/2018

Batwa farming groups

UOBDU is funded by Gorilla Organisation to support eight Batwa groups in agriculture where the groups plant Irish potatoes on hired land.

The groups that plant two seasons in a year, managed to make some savings out of the last harvests and  each group came up with a goal to achieve.

The eight groups include Gitebe,Mukungu A&B, Biizi, Rukeri, Gatera, Sanuriro and Kanyabukungu/  Mperwa . The different goals to be achieved  include buying motorcycles (bodaboda), sheep for each group member, a cow, solar for lighting and a milling machine for business respectively and aim at fulfilling them by the end of 2018.

                                        Biizi group after harvest

Training these different groups in farming and monitoring is usually done by UOBDU agronomist who also ensures that the harvest is good and group are goals achieved.

Through income generation especially in agriculture, the life of the Batwa will change to better standards.

Thanks  to  Gorilla Organisation for the generous support.

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