Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 22/12/2016

Long distance ; A disaster towards Batwa access to proper healthcare

Teopista Kibire aged about 35 years died on  13th, November 2016 and was buried on 14th , November 2016 in Murubindi Batwa community, Kabale district. She left behind a two weeks old baby with no care but only in the hands of her helpless husband and very young sibling.

Teopista who had developed Pneumonia  was trying to go to Kashasha Healthy center 111 which is about 10km from her community of residence for medical checkup. She never reached her destination since she died on her way as she was too sick to commute that long distance or even afford transport to take her there. It is sad that Teopista died on her way to hospital.

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The  child that was left behind by Teopista

 

 

Her badly malnourished child is now under the care of his helpless father Rwendeye  and maternal aunt Irene Nyirabashitsi. His young sister Mukunde has to carry him on the back whenever he needs to sleep.

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The young caretaker “Mukunde”

 

 

Many other Batwa are still suffering the same problem of long distance being a disaster to them from accessing proper medical care like it happened to Teopista.

In the past month as UOBDU staff was on its daily community feedback meeting in Kabale, they were approached by a one Kanusu to transport his badly off wife to Mutorele hospital where Batwa have been insured to get free medication. “My wife has been sick for so long and the problem is persisting since it has now prevented her from passing out stool” said Kanusu.

The wife was indeed badly off as she had turned pale on her face and sat using one side of her body while in the car. One wonders why Kanusu did not take his wife earlier enough to hospital before the ailment became too much.

The answer is obvious, Kanusu lives far in Kabale and could not afford transport to hire a car and take the wife to hospital in Kisoro, and he also had hopes that the situation would be better with the use of local herbs but it did not.

Many Batwa have faced this challenge, many have survived and many have passed on and the challenge still continues among the Batwa since majority of them stay far away from these medical centers.

You and I can make a difference if we joined hands to save the Batwa lives.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 08/12/2016

Batwa forested land continues to face encroachment.

The  Batwa  forested land in Buhoma is being conserved for cultural purposes so that the Batwa can practice and pass on their diminishing culture   to their children which they had and lost during  the 1991 evictions from their ancestral lands of Mgahinga, Bwindi National parks and Echuya forest.

A man  by the names of Julius  from Mukono parish in Kanungu district was of recent arrested  and later fined for trespassing  and cutting trees without permission  from Batwa forested land of Buhoma.  Julius and many others always  graze animals, cut trees and even burn charcoal from the Batwa land and go unnoticed.

On the fateful day as he was preparing for his upcoming wedding, Julius had to cut the trees from the Batwa forested land for firewood purposely for his wedding and disguised to have obtained permission from one of the forested land caretakers. However, this was contrary to the caretaker’s words who said that,  “Upon being arrested, he proved to be too stubborn and also tried to assault a policeman that was leading visitors from gorilla tracking, “said Justus Byaruhanga one of the care takers of the land.

Though Julius continued denying having cut the trees, other circumstantial evidence was used against him to pin him thus leading him to plead guilty and later begged to be pardoned. Un like others, Julius being  a first time offender was fined and called upon to become an advocate to those who have also  been planning to damage the Batwa forested land forest.

UOBDU  thus calls upon  the public  to help in conserving and  preserving the Batwa culture as well as  their forested land.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 23/11/2016

The goodness of honey

When asked to describe honey, one only refers to it as sweet, tasty, lovely, name it all. However, there is more hidden treasure than sweetness in honey, It has other various purposes like candle making ( by use of its wax) , it is  medicinal as its  poriporis  cures wounds and toothache.

img_7624                                              Gorilla candles and poriporis

Honey is everything if related to nature, “through taking honey there can be return of monthly menstruation period to women at the age of despair”  says Mzee Kebeire Benon of Kanungu and a bee keeping expert  who is training Batwa of Kitariro through an apiary project under Batwa Sustainable livelihood project  that is being funded through ITFC and implemented by UOBDU.

Honey and bees are not knew among the Batwa since they have their indigenous knowledge on the different types of bees and honey that they used to see and get from their former ancestral lands  of  Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks. According to the Batwa, honey is in form of “ubuhura” which is   wild honey from underground and “Ubuki” that would be got from trees. Honey was very important in the lives of the Batwa as it was consumed for good health, cures cough among children, ferment alcohol and would also be used as food. “Whenever one would eat honey from the forest, he or she would not easily get hungry”, says Abias a mutwa from Kitariro”

The above type of honey is no longer accessible to the Batwa. Batwa are now currently involved in beekeeping within their communities and have now emulated the bee keeping outside the forest. Under this, they are involved in making of both local and modern beehives upon which if there is a good harvest they can get 20 litres’ of honey from each beehive. With the current ongoing enterprise, the Batwa hope to process their own honey in the near future for income generation.

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Kenya bee hives(modern) and local beehives being made by Batwa of Kitariro and Mpungu respectively.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 02/06/2016

SUPPORT THE NEEDY BATWA CHILDREN

Some people hear it, others see it and others have seen it before but it all remains nobody’s business  despite the fact that it is also almost every body’s obligation to rescue these innocent Ugandans  who were thrown out of their ancestral home and found themselves homeless yet they had a home.

kids receiving clothes                                         Batwa children receiving clothes

If we can all speak one language   then it’s very possible to rescue them and get them land, food, shelter, education, clothing name it.

IMG_6949                                        Batwa hut in Kamugyemanyi community

By helping them or rescuing them, we gain fame and respect before the public and God.

Posted by: United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda | 24/05/2016

Rain a gift from God

To many people rain is a blessing from God especially for water and for crops. This goes hand in hand when one has proper shelter to protect their families from leaking roofs, floods etc. But to the Batwa of Nyarusiza, Kanaba and Mperwa in Kisoro district rain is partly a disaster.

This is because they don’t have proper roofed houses thus making them get soaked during rainy days. These huts are also too cold and infested with mosquitoes which sometimes make Batwa not to sleep the entire night mostly when it is raining.

Batwa like other human beings deserve the right to have decent shelter. Any donation to improve a mutwa decent housing is highly welcome.

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Batwa huts.

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