Residents of Nteko Cell in Nkuringo town council have been urged to make use of the vacant land along Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to grow tea if they wish to increase their household income.
The buffer Zone that separates Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home of the Mountain Gorillas and human communities sits idle and needs to be utilized to prevent Human Wildlife Conflict.
During an awareness meeting with Nteko residents held recently at Nyarusuzu primary school in Mabande trading center, Team leader for Uplift the Rural Poor (URP) and focal point person for World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Beatrice Kabihogo said it is important that the land that stretches to as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo needs to be utilized.
Kabihogo explained that tea planting is one of the ways of protecting human communities from attacks by the wild animals but also it guarantees incoming generation to support families.
The Senior Warden In-charge for Southern Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, John Justice Tibesigwa commended conservation partners like URP that have worked hand in hand with Government to ensure communities bordering the National Park have activities that are self-sustaining and help reduce on human wildlife conflict.
“Projects that have been initiated by conservation partners has really helped reduce on human wildlife conflict because people are now engaged in meaningful activities like tea growing and tourism and this has benefitted both the animals in the National Park and the communities, Tibesigwa explained.
The Kisoro district Tourism Officer Munezero Richard advised residents to take up tea planting as one of the Government programs put in place to eliminate poverty in homes.
Several residents said they are willing to adopt tea planting however they need Government support in terms of financial incentives to access training and other necessities during the tea planting process.