NFA offers crafts making materials to save forests in Kikuube

Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) groups neighbouring Wambabya Central Forest Reserve get certificates of appreciation from the National Forestry Authority (NFA) in April 2024. (Image: Gad Asaba/Kazi-njema Radio Unit)

The National Forestry Authority (NFA) has introduced new mechanisms to promote community livelihoods that minimise their encroachment on central forest reserves in Kikuube District.

The Authority has supported five Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) groups with crafts making materials to minimise the number of people that have been encroaching on Wambabya Central Forest Reserve in search of handicraft making materials for survival.

Those who benefited this week were from Kidoma parish in Kiziranfumbi sub-county.

The materials offered include: knighting, weaving and sewing materials.

The CFM groups were also awarded certificates of appreciation for being good ambassadors of environmental conservation.

CFMs are groups introduced by NFA to promote community participation in the protection and management of central forest reserves as community and national resources.

Mr Alex Obonyo, the NFA Kisindi Sector Manager, says other projects implemented with the same viewpoint include training communities to produce liquid soap, nurturing tree seedlings, bee keeping and business skills.

Audio: Obonyo on CFM groups (English)

Mr Peter Bisoborwa, the Kikuube Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), welcomes NFA’s initiative, acknowledging that poverty is a push factor for encroachment on forest reserves.

He calls upon other stakeholders to heighten community sensitisation of alternative livelihood sources and the dangers of deforestation so that natural forests can be conserved.

Audio: Bisoborwa on forests (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Mr Francis Obadiah, the Chairperson Wambabya Community Development Association, says CFM groups in Kidoma parish have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding with NFA for the next 10 years after appreciating the beauty with conservation.

He, however, says more support is needed because the population of the community is bigger than that of the members who accessed the crafts making materials donation and other projects.

NFA says it is conducting similar activities to communities and CFM groups around Bugoma Central Forest Reserve which is more frequently encroached on than Wambabya.

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