Thanks to the Belgian Fourth Pillar for Citizen Initiatives for Development Cooperation and the Province of Antwerp, One World Tree Planting was able to obtain a grant to support Asiimwe Mourine in her project to plant trees and organize sensitization activities with the Batwa communities.
The Batwa are different groups of indigenous forest dwellers who were original to the impenetrable Bwindi forest. The forest is known worldwide because of it’s population of gorillas.
Due to conservation efforts, these original hunters-gatherers were expelled from the forest, leaving them at the margins of society.
Change A life Bwindi is a Community Based Organisation which was started to directly link the importance of preserving Bwindi National Park as a source of livelihood for the surrounding Batwa communities through sustainable projects such as afforestation, bee keeping, mushroom growing and women empowerment.
With support from One World Tree Planting, Miss Conservation Kigezi Asiimwe Mourine purchased tree seedlings and transported them from Kabale to the Change A life Bwindi centre of operation in Ruhaija for her first activity on December 14th.
The activity started with a sensitization talk with with project members to outline the activity:
1. explaining steps taken when planting a tree, caring for a newly planted tree;
2. revealing to them the real climate change effects that we are facing now and how a planted tree will help to mitigate these challenges.
Also other benefits of planting were explained:
1. planting indigenous trees contributes to restoration of Uganda’s ecosystem;
2. protection of biodiversity;
3. provision of fruits that can be consumed by the family;
4. …and sold as source of income;
This training session was followed by a practical demonstration on how a tree is planted with members at Change A life Bwindi centre before seedlings were distributed to participants and to be planted at the project centre.
Change A life Bwindi believes in the power of the young generation to be the future conservation warriors and this can start with planting a simple tree.
In this, they emphasised on having each of their children to plant trees in his or her name, and then care for and them.
They have been involving these children in various environmental conservation activities and they were very happy to receive these tree seedlings for them.
With the grant Asiimwe will continue with supervision and follow up activities focused on the implementation of agroforestry practices and knowledge exchange with the Batwa communities.