NatureUganda Empowers Local Communities in the WestNile Region

In an effort to promote sustainable livelihoods and ecosystem conservation, NatureUganda has distributed 300 beehives accompanied by harvesting gear to community members living in the Yelulu wetland catchment of the WestNile region. This was after NatureUganda conducted a thorough needs assessment among the community members, ensuring that we are providing the most suitable livelihood option for them.

The establishment of apiary will not only serve as a sustainable livelihood options for the communities in the region but also contribute to the conservation of biodiversity by supporting the pollination of local flora, enhancing overall ecosystem health.

This initiative was made possible through the EU funded project that aims to restore and Conserve degraded and fragile ecosystems while improving livelihoods among the refugee and host communities of West Nile and the Mid-Albertine Rift regions in Uganda. The projected is being being implemented by a consortium of four NGO’s including Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Ecological Christian Organization (ECO) and NatureUganda (NU).

While handing over the beehives, the ED NatureUganda – Achilles Byaruhanga, noted that ‘the environment cannot be protected when people are hungry, protection of our environment goes hand in hand with addressing the needs of the people who depend on it. That’s why it’s crucial to provide alternative sources of income to reduce the pressure on ecosystems.

The ED, UBF Ivan Amanigaruhanga pledged that not only will the communities receive bee-hives, but they will also be supported with value addition equipment. This will enable them get honey as well as other products that they will sell and get income.

In his remarks, the guest of honor Mr. Ayikobu Festus, the RDC (Resident District Commissioner) of Terego district said that together with the other district leaders will monitor the intervention and follow-up with the beneficiaties. He also requested that this project be extended to the young generation especially in schools.

To ensure the success and sustainability of the beekeeping initiative, NatureUganda provided comprehensive training to the community members. The training sessions covered various aspects of beekeeping, including hive management, honey extraction techniques, and best practices for maintaining healthy bee colonies. Equipping community members with the necessary skills enables them to become self-reliant beekeepers while promoting environmentally friendly practices.

NatureUganda is supporting landowners in host communities to establish agroforestry enterprises and adopt to Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) as well as improving livelihoods. NU is part of the consortium of four organizations implementing this project and it is taking lead on implementing wetland and riverine ecosystem restoration.  The project is being implemented in a 15km radius from the refugee settlements of Rwamwanja (Kamwenge district), Kyaka II (Kyegegwa district), Kyangwali (Kikuube district, Rhino Camp and Bidi Bidi (Terego and Yumbe districts).

In partnership with the District Local Governments of Terego, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa, NU has been supporting the restoration of selected wetlands, Riverine areas and woodlands that are of critical importance to the water catchment for river or wetlands critical for the refugee settlements of Kyaka II in Kyegegwa, Rwamwanja in Kamwenge, Imvepi and Rhino camp in Terego districts.  To date, NU has supported  the development of 5 wetland restoration plans;  demarcated 39km of wetland of Komuchwezi, Kyakatwanga , Rushango & Kajororo  wetlands in Kyegegwe & Kamwenge districts; supported restoration of 200ha of wetland area by planting in the buffer areas of Yelulu wetland & stream Imvetre in Terego ; supported the restoration of 293ha woodland in Otumbari local forest reserve & Yelulu wetland Catchment Area in Terego District; supported landowners with over 190,000 tree seedlings of fruit species  &indigenous tree species and supported  the establishment of 290ha under agroforestry and sustainable land Management restoration and agroforestry see at landscape level to plant appropriate agroforestry trees.

Event video