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Earlier this week Noah Mubangizi, Aaron Twinomujuni and Johnson Nihawa have for the third time provided emergency aid to a selected group of poorest around Lake Bunyonyi. Again they have provided maize flour and soap to (landless) widows, several of them HIV infected, who have children to care for, and also to a few Batwa groups (Pygmies).
What they were confronted with while visiting the Batwa was nothing but heart breaking, while it was at the same time vast proof of how the people belonging to this tribe are truly living at the edges of Ugandan society.
Being a tribe of hunter-gatherers, they used to live in caves and trees for more than 4,000 year, sharing the forest with the Mountain Gorillas; until in 1991, due to conservation projects that aimed at preventing extinction of the Mountain Gorillas, they were evicted from the forest and their lives suddenly completely changed.
The Batwa groups that live around Lake Bunyonyi completely depend on tourism for their survival. They sell handcrafts to the tourists and they dance for them. From the little money they earn from that they can just survive under normal circumstances. In May 2018, during one of my travels to Uganda, I have visited a group, as can be read here.
With the Ugandan border already since March being closed in an attempt to keep Covid-19 outside the country, tourism was the first sector to completely collapse, instantly leaving the Batwa without money and therewith also without food.
This week, while Noah, Aaron and Johnson visited the group for the third time to provide them some emergency relief, they were welcomed by mainly the children of the group, some of them armed with bows and arrows. The children explained that because they were so hungry they had started using the bows and arrows for hunting. The adults were not present as they had gone on a journey, hopefully coming home later with something to eat.
The hunger and despair they are experiencing during this corona crisis is forcing them to turn back to exactly the lifestyle they had before they were evicted from the forests: that of hunting!
Of course we thank everyone who has donated to enable us to provide emergency aid for the third time!
You may also want to read:
How We Want to Offer Help at Lake Bunyonyi During the Corona Crisis.
We Are Grateful Having Provided Some First Urgently Needed Aid at Lake Bunyonyi.
The Second Round of Providing Emergency Relief at Lake Bunyonyi.
HWMCO-Nederland & NiCA Foundation
‘We Fight Poverty by Bringing Development.’
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