Rwenzori Development Foundation
Supporting and enabling self-reliant rural communities in south-western Uganda through empowering education and conservation programmes.
We have been working in the Rwenzori Mountains since 1992, and are committed to supporting local efforts to minimise the human induced pressures on the National Park, which encompasses most of the mountain range. We also aim to support sustainable indigenous efforts to assist local communities whose livelihoods are linked to, or have been altered by, the Rwenzori Mountains or the establishment of the National Park.
THE RUBONI COMMUNITY FOREST PROJECT
The RCCDP organised the purchase of 20 acres of indigenous forest bordering the RMNP to be maintained and preserved for its natural value, rather than being cut for timber, and to earn money for the community from tourists paying to visit the area; this became the Ruboni Community Forest Project.
By initiating a programme of forest purchase, the RCCDP propose to create a biodiversity "bank". The forest is conserved and local people benefit by being able to sustainably harvest seeds, forest products, and medicinal plants without irreversibly damaging the indigenous forest. Click here for more pictures of the forest.
The Objectives of the RCCDP Rwenzori Community Forest Project are to:
1. Conserve and protect an invaluable tract of indigenous forest
2. Maintain a sustainable natural resource for community benefit
3. Enable the local community to benefit from tourism
4. Sensitise the community to the benefits of their natural environment
5. Replant indigenous trees in previously farmed areas6. Generate income for the benefit of community members
In light of this, in August 2005 the RDF assisted the community to buy a stretch of 20 acres bordering the RMNP of which approximately 15 acres is indigenous rainforest.RCCDP aim to preserve this land as an area of untouched indigenous forest bordering the RMNP. Other benefits of the biodiversity "bank" will include income for the community generated by creating tourist trails through the forest, through local people being employed as guides and through tourists spending more time and money within the community rather than passing straight through.How can I visit the RCCDP Community Forest Project?
If you have a few days to spare and would like to walk in the beautiful forest of the Rwenzori Mountains, but don't want the expense of going into the National Park itself, why not visit the community and let them guide you round their new nature trail in the forest. The money you pay to the guides and by staying at the RCCDP Campsite goes directly to the local community. Please contact us for more information.
The best way to visit the Community or to get to the Rwenzori Mountains is to travel from Kampala to Fort Portal or Kasese and then get a local bus or a taxi to the bottom of the dirt road leading to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Here you will need to get another vehicle or a motorbike taxi to Ibanda and then continue up the mountains to Nykalengija which is just near the entrance to the park. Go to our about Ugandasection for some general maps of the area surrounding the Rwenzoris for more details.
Trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains National ParkIf you are going up into the RMNP itself you need to book your trekking at the Uganda Wildlife Authority HQ in Kampala, Click here:
Grants to Pilot Projects
Rugendabara Foundation for Health and Development
Project: Neem and Muringa tree planting conservation project
The organization is concerned about soil conservation and raising funds for a local school. The school has agreed that the organization plants Neem and Muringa trees on their land and will eventually benefit from the sale of the fruits.
Western Rift Valley Ecological Farm Institute (WREFI)
Project: Sustainable poultry farming.
WREFI has a number of demonstration gardens to teach local groups about sustainable farming methods. This project was developed by the organisations trainee farmers and will provide manure for the gardens as well as eggs for consumption and sale.
Kalhubulha Rural Women and Youth Development Association
The organization began with 5 women wanting to practice soil conservation methods for improved production. The project will help reduce soil erosion and plant trees, particularly fruit trees. The fruits will eventually be used for mulching and improving the soil and the excess sold locally.
Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED)
Project: Banishing Buvera from Bigodo
The organization is close to Kibale National Park an area where tourists regularly visit. They aim to mobilize community clean ups of the area, and to raise awareness of ways of recycling articles, particularly plastic bags (Buvera) into rope.
Kitagwenda Sustainable Agricultural Advisory Services Association
Project: Wetlands management training workshop for Association staff
Local farmers have approached the organisation looking for ways to manage and utilize flood/wetland areas for production. We are funding a 5-day residential course on wetland management for the farmers.