20 displaced Batwa get home

Twenty families of the Batwa community in western Uganda have found home after a local NGO gave them land for resettlement.

Saturday April 19 2014

By ROBERT MUHEREZA

Kanungu.

Twenty families of the Batwa community in western Uganda have found home after a local NGO gave them land for resettlement.
The Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust secured 173 acres of land in Bikuto Cell in Butogota Town Council Kanungu District where the Batwa will be resettled.
The government evicted Batwa from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the 90s when the forest was designated as a national game park.
They have since been landless and earning a living by doing odd jobs in the local communities around the game park.

Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust administrator Mark Mwiine handed over the land and the titles to the Batwa on Tuesday.
He urged them to utilise it for modern agriculture and warned them not to sell it.

“We started buying this land in 2000 with support from our international friends. We bought each acre at Shs4 million. We have finished the process of getting land titles and we are here to hand them over to you. Use the land for modern agriculture and fight poverty in your communities,” Mr Mwiine said.
Mr Fulgence Ndyabahika, the Batwa community leader, thanked the NGO for the support. He said they have been internally displaced in Kanungu because government did not compensate or give them an alternative land for settlement after the eviction from the forests.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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