Batwa people are marginalised and excluded from land and economic opportunities.
In south-western Uganda Bees for Development (BfD) is promoting beekeeping among vulnerable groups living near to Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area.
BfD’s official website says “We are promoting beekeeping among Batwa and other marginalized and vulnerable groups of people around Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area in southwestern Uganda.”
Batwa are a minority group in Uganda, and have been almost entirely dispossessed of land.
The forest, and the surrounding rich farmland have been made off-limits to many people.
BfD has shown that beekeeping can help the situation, both to reduce pressure on the environment and to give a resilient income for those who live here.
Much of the forest here has been closed to people who previously lived or made a living in it.
Outside of the forest, the area is farmed intensively, and is largely off-limits to people who do not own land.
Being richly productive for farming, land is priced way beyond what anyone can afford to pay for even a smallholding.
Even getting local resources to make beehives and other equipment has been difficult to obtain.
“We have shown that, far from being at odds with conservation aims, beekeeping can help the situation for the environment and people. With agreed access for beekeeping on land immediately outside the Conservation Area, Batwa and other people gain both an income, and a stake in the conservation of the area.” – said Bees for Development.
The Project started in October 2020. Many Batwa now have hives with bees, and the first honey has been harvested.
This project is sponsored by CISU in conjunction with Danish Beekeepers DBF