Cooperatives & CommunitiesEnvironment

The Jane Goodall Institute courts farmers to conserve protected areas

KIKUUBE– The Jane Goodall Institute, a global non-governmental conservation organisation with a keen interest in chimpanzees, has started offering livelihood alternatives as incentives to prevent farmers from encroaching on protected areas.

The farmers are being supported with different inputs to be able to conserve a forest reserve instead of destroying them for cultivation. The beneficiaries are being supported with improved seeds, tree seedlings, goats, and beehives.

Beneficiaries under their group Wambabya Forest Conservation and Development Association are from Igwajura and Bumbogo parishes in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kidoma parish in Kiziranfumbi Sub-county, and Ruguse and Katanga parishes in Bugambe sub-county among others.

The three-year project being implemented by  The Jane Goodall Institute has funding of Sh1.3 billion from the Australia Development Agency. It targets to reach 3000 households in Kikuube and Hoima districts.

The project which started in 2021 and dubbed Green Lug Forestry Restoration is aimed at conserving the habitants of chimpanzees.

Timothy Akugizibwe, the Programmes Manager for The Jane Goodall Institute said that the project targets farmers adjacent to the Wambabya Forest Reserve which covers Hoima and Kikuube districts.

Akugizibwe said that before the project kicked off, the beneficiaries signed a memorandum of understanding with NFA committing to protect the forest reserve.

“We first delivered seeds such as beans, baize, and banana suckers…we have delivered 54 goats to the beneficiaries. In the next phase, we shall be giving them beehives as we promote conservation,” he said adding that the beneficiaries can only be allowed to get medicine and firewood from the forest.

According to him, each group member is given one goat and after the delivery of the goat, the beneficiaries will be passing on a kid to those group members who will have missed out.

Kikuube district speaker Chris Nkalu, lauded the initiative, saying that it complements the government’s effort of promoting the conservation of the environment and fighting poverty.

He noted that the current destruction of forests and wetlands for human activities like agriculture and charcoal burning is alarming.

Anent Asera, the district female councilor for Bugambe Sub-county said the project has come at the right time when the district is struggling to move people who have encroached on ecological areas.

Francis Abitekaniza, the assistant chief administrative officer commended The Jane Goodall Institute for supporting the local communities to have income-generating activities to facilitate them to conserve the environment.

Obadia Francis, the chairperson Wambabya Forest Conservation and Development Association said that project has helped many farmers to move out of the protected areas as they embrace livelihood alternatives provided by The Jane Goodall Institute.

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