Update on Strong Roots Projects and Programs

  • Environmental Education Program

The Environmental education program includes two the formal education that concerns children at school where conservation curriculum is coupled with the national education program to skill to new and future generations with tools to tackle environmental issues in their area. This program is applied in our school and extended other schools around the park.

The other program’s activity is sensitization sessions where adults and people in the communities are empowered with conservation kits composed of skills, knowledge and information in conservation. Most of the sessions relate to natural resources management.

  • Park Rangers Women Co-operative

This program concerns about 200 women:
1)     The Cassava Mill:  We have provided the park rangers women co-op with cassava mill and seeds money to start business. And net income of $US88 per month that they invest for a future socioeconomic project in the co-op.

2)     The poultry project:  This project is affiliated to the Kahuzi-Biega Environmental School (KBES). It produces eggs that used in the lunch program at the school.

  • Pygmy Farming Project

This project was launched in September 2010 and during the first agricultural campaign (Sept – December 2010), 40 hectares of land were leased for 102 pygmy families where they grew beans and corn.

Agricultural tools and seeds were provided by the project.

During this agricultural campaign, each family secured an average amount of 78Kg of beans that they planted this time.

The project just provided the leasing of the 40 hectares.

  • Reforestation Project

Nurseries (for trees) are installed since last February and 100,000 tree plants are expected to be planted around the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in September 2011. More than 87.6% of local and indigenous communities rely on natural resources exploitation for subsistence and 98.6 of fuel comes from wood. And since the KBNP doesn’t have a buffer zone since its creation in 1970, conflicts between the park’s management authority and the surrounding communities are increasing – not only because of giving confiscated the communities lands without compensation when the park was created – but also, because of the high demographic rate (4% per year) that increases also the demand on land and natural resources.

This project is responding to a high need for communities’ subsistence as generating income for the beneficiaries, and also to tackle the conflicts between the park management authority and the surrounding communities when destroying the gorillas’ habitat, searching for firewood, timbers, sticks for houses building and charcoals in the park.

  • Baboon Conservation Project

The lake Kivi and the Lake Tanganyika are linked with the Ruzizi River (117Km) and constitutes the natural border between DRC and Rwanda. Last year we were called for looking over groups of baboons and other small monkeys along the Ruzizi River, in the Nyangezi administrative grouping.

We have sent several researchers teams in the area and we are thinking of a conservation and research project on the site. Ruzizi River is also home of crocodiles and hippos that were reported extinct in the Lake Kivu. 

We call for friends and researchers who would be interested to learn on this project in general and on baboons in particular to join us.

  • Carvers Co-op Program

Since the tourist machinery was broken in DRC because of the unstable political situation, all the carvers who used to sell their products to tourists have been their market broken, too. We have helped them constituted in carving co-op from which we help them selling their carvings to increase their income and sensitizing them about conservation.

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