By Libino Byamukama
The Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT) has launched a massive 178 million shillings project in Kisoro, Kanugu, and Rubanda districts for the fiscal year 2021/2022 in order to foster wealth creation among communities adjacent to the Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks.
BMCT officials, led by Trust Administrator Mark David Mwine, unveiled a 178 million shillings’ budget for three districts of Kisoro, Kanugu, and Rubanda, to support activities such as heifer projects, piggery, Irish potato growing, beekeeping, water harvesting, tree planting, and energy-saving stoves.
Bukimbiri, Muramba, Nyabwishenya, Nyundo, Rubuguri, and Nyarusiza sub-counties are among those who will benefit from the 40.2 million shillings allocated to Kisoro district.
According to Mwine, BMCT has invested over 12.5 billion shillings in the same communities since the organization’s inception in 1994.
He stated that the organization’s main goals are to support park management systems, community development, and research aimed at promoting environmental conservation and tourism activities.
Mark MwineDavid added that BMCT activities aim to reduce human-animal conflicts by creating a favorable environment.
Dan Ndikumwami, the Kisoro district Deputy Resident District Commissioner, praised BMCT for its tremendous assistance to the government in wealth creation.
He urged other non-governmental organizations to follow in BMCT’s footsteps in order to gain government support.
Richard Munezero, Kisoro district Tourism Officer, also commended BMCT for continuing to support communities along the Mgahinga and Bwindi national parks despite the COvid-19 challenges.
He urged beneficiaries to take advantage of the benefits of having BMCT support in order to increase their wealth.
Erasmus Nsabimana, the Chairperson of Nyarusiza Sub County, challenged communities to always protect and conserve the environment because it is the reason Nyarusiza Sub County and Kisoro District have organizations such as BMCT to support their livelihood.
He went on to say that national parks are important to the country because they provide fresh air, tourists as a source of income, and rainfall, which aids in crop growing.
Beneficiaries pledged to use the cows, water tanks, money, and other assistance they received at the Nyarusiza sub-county headquarters responsibly and to spread conservation messages to their fellow community members.