Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT) has implored the Batwa communities living in Kisoro district to embrace livelihood activities like small-scale farming if their well-being must match other peoples’ standards.
The call was made by the BMCT programs manager in Kisoro district, Claire Kahunzire while supplying different Vegetable seeds, Hoes and forked hoes to the Batwa living in Kanyamahene village, Rushaga ward in Rubuguri town council on Thursday this week.
According to Kahunzire, BMCT’s major objective is to change Kanyamahene Batwa hill into a model area for all Batwa in the district by engaging them in small-scale farming, proper sanitation, education, tree planting, and discipline among others.
BMCT has already constructed nine permanent houses with kitchens and pit latrines for the 9 households at Kanyamahene Batwa hill while others are being constructed in Rushaga village.
Kahunzire asked the beneficiary Batwa to at least setup structures where utensils can be dried, always keep pathways to their houses smart and sweep their houses so that other Batwa can look at them as examples.
Speaking to our reporter, Batwa hailing from Kanyamahene village hailed BMCT for greatly improving their lives to a certain level where other people can share with them.
They revealed that before BMCT came in to buy for them land and eventually construct houses, they used to sleep under makeshifts that could leak during heavy rains. They also said that their only way of survival after eviction from the forests was to work for non-Batwa people.
Other Batwa commended BMCT that lobbied rain water harvesting tanks that have eased their search for clean water.
They say that they used to fetch dirty water from nearby ponds. They added that BMCT has and is still training Batwa on how to grow green vegetables.