The Batwa are the
original inhabitants of the forests in SW Uganda. The dense
vegetation was their home. However, with the gazetting of most of these areas as National Parks in the
1990’s, strict laws were introduced. Consequently, the Batwa had
no access to the forests for food, shelter, medicines and other
goods and values that they used to find so freely. Without the
skills or (in many
cases) the land to be farmers the Batwa have suffered.
In 2000 some Batwa
organized themselves and formed their own organisation, the
United Organisation for Batwa in Uganda (UOBDU). Its aim is
to support Batwa in to address their problems and find
The 3D model of Bwindi. Green is (current) forest, red
cultivated land. The labels dotting the model describe important
places, resources and stories.
ITFC was invited by UOBDU to take
part in a Participatory
3-Dimensional Modelling of Bwindi by the Batwa (with technical
support from ERMIS Africa.
This provided an opportunity to investigate how the indigenous forest
dwellers now perceive and value the forest.
It was fascinating to see
how well the Batwa still knew the forest. They located sacred sites,
burial grounds, animal ranges, sites for hunting and many other things all in the national park. Some
places are taboo and it is considered dangerous to go there or
even to say their names.
Please visit our
to see how this study was accomplished.