This project provides management skills and bee products to create an alternative source of livelihood for Batwa pygmies evicted from their indigenous home in the Bwindi forest when the area was conserved as a national park.
The Bwindi forest provided the native people's livelihood before becoming the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1991. Hopes that gorilla tourism would bring local development and jobs proved false as poverty instead increased. People living near the park are less educated with greater disease risk from poor sanitation and nutrition. The Batwa Pygmies are a particularly vulnerable minority group in a critical situation. Supporting them in beekeeping provides them food security and income.
Training and supporting the Batwa in constructing bee hives, site selection, honey and wax processing, packaging and marketing and value addition chain will help them maintain bee keeping as a business and enable them to earn a sustainable living.
The project will assist 100 Batwa pygmies to develop the means to get out of poverty by enabling them to pay school fees for their children and provide them with improved nutrition. This will also reverse the current course where these families are forced into poaching to feed themselves and will help transform them into a future generation of environmental conservationists.