Batwa Abandon Resettlement Camp

1520 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
Bernard Musokyi, the in- charge of the camp, says the Batwa have no choice but to return to the game reserve due to marginalization. Musokyi explains that when they were being resettled, the district authorities promised to provide the Batwa with food and health care but very little support has been given.

The Batwa in Bundibugyo district have abandoned their resettlement camp in Ntandi trading center, Ntandi Sub County and returned to Semuliki Game Reserve.
  
In 2013, Bundibugyo district community development department resettled more than 80 members of the Batwa community from the game reserve. The district spent 450 Million Shillings t construct semi-permanent houses for the Batwa. The department also constructed roadside market was to assist the Batwa to set up small businesses.  
 
 
The district moved in to resettle the Batwa after Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), complained of indiscriminate cutting oftrees and poaching of animals in the game reserve. However, the Batwa have since last year abandoned the houses and moved back to the game reserve. Some of the Batwa have also sold the iron sheets to residents in Ntandi trading center.



Bernard Musokyi, the in- charge of the camp, says the Batwa have no choice but to return to the game reserve due to marginalization. Musokyi explains that when they were being resettled, the district authorities promised to provide the Batwa with food and health care but very little support has been given.

 
According to Musokyi, they would rather return to the forest to their old way of life where they can survive on their own.
 
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Musokyi adds that district has sidelined the Batwa from programs like the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the Operation Wealth Creation.  However Francis Mugenyi, the chairperson Bundibugyo community development department, says that he has made numerous attempts to give the Batwa hoes and other farm implements but instead of putting them to use they sell them for money. 



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The return of the Batwa to the reserve has caused tension between them and UWA game rangers as a result of poaching. Last week, five Batwa were arrested for poaching and were released after pleading for leniency. 



Anthropologists believe that the Batwa are one of the oldest ethnic groups in Central Africa. They settled in the area that is now western Uganda, Rwanda and eastern Congo before the arrival of the Bantu or Nilotics.
 



 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.