By APN Reporter
The Batwa communities have been urged to embrace sustainable
development activities and leave begging in order to improve on their
standards of living.
This call was over the weekend made by the Rubanda District senior labor officer Ritah Nalubiri as the Batwa received a donation of 1.2
tons of maize flour as a relief food from Kabale District Orphans and
Vulnerable Children Living with HIV -KADOLAH.
According to Nalubiri, the Batwa community cannot improve and develop if they continue to depend on the visitors only and well-wishers.
“You need to invest in agriculture, save the little money you work
for, educate your children for a better future. It will be difficult
for you to get out of poverty and ignorance if you continue to focus
and depend on donations” Nalubiri said.
Andrew Buhungiro, the Director of KADOLAH said that the Batwa
communities are the most vulnerable people in the Districts of Rubanda
and Kabale, who have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
The food relief donation benefited at least 319 families of the Batwa.
The Batwa of Murubindi and Kinyarushengye in Rubanda District,
including those of Kyevu in Kabale District.
A few Batwa own very little agricultural land, and the least
productive, in designated locations in hard-to-reach hilly terrain
near the Echuya forest while others remain squatters on other people’s land as they were not resettled by the government.
Before the declaration of the Echuya as a central government forest
reserve, the forest was heavily encroached upon.
Up to now, some activities such as wild hunting, collection of honey,
mushrooms, water, bamboo for basket making, building poles, making of bee hives and fire wood are being carried out by both Batwa and
non-Batwa dominant ethnic communities.
However, the Batwa illegally hunt in the forest due to lack of
alternative sources of food.