Thursday, 27 August 2015

The local communities around bwindi impenetrable national park plant tea instead of a barrier wall to stop wildlife encroachment

tea platationsThe Uganda gorilla safari destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south west of Uganda stands with a minimum of 400 mountain gorillas which is close to a half of the world’s entire population of mountain gorillas some of which are habituated and others still in their wild state
These gorillas had the habit of encroaching on gardens of the local people thus affecting their harvests something that actually posed a threat to gorillas as the conflict created would result into the local people poaching the gorillas and threatening their continued existence.
A count of over 30, 000 residents in the areas of Nteko and Rubuguri under their umbrella association of Nkuringo Community Conservation Development Foundation in 2006 pleaded to the government to have a permanent separator wall constructed to separate them from the protected area of Bwindi – the home of gorillas normally encountered on gorilla safari in Uganda and other wildlife including the elephants.
The years passed and by 2009, they had changed their mind and opted for an extensive tea plantation that would cover the entire 17km buffer zone that separates them from the park. With the support from the Kigezi High Tea Company, the local communities realized that tea planting would create returns that would go beyond stopping wildlife alone.
The animals like mountain gorillas and elephants would be deterred from encroaching on the community lands as they do not find tea delicious to feed on. The project would then generate income from tea harvesting. By reducing the crop raiding, the human wildlife conflict would be resolved assuring the continuity of wildlife including mountain gorillas and eventually sustainable gorilla safaris to Uganda

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