The Batwa Indigenous Development organization (BIDO) is community based Organization that were started by the Batwa themselves registration number 80020003611130.It was directed by Ahimbisibwe Alex a Mutwa Scholar that is doing Bachelors Degree in public administration and managment at kabale University Kabale. He started the organization in 2019, after seeing the Batwa lives in terrible conditions for so long without any improvement while he got a thought that under their own organization batwa people can make a voice and it may lift the government and as well as to the helpful organizations like United Nations (UN) and other important sympathetic non-Governmental organizations and individual donors who can help the Batwa to get to their ancestral lands and improved lively wood.
The batwa indigenous people in south western Uganda are among minority tribe threatened by extinction due isolation, discrimination, high motility rate but mostly malnutrition problems that needs a quick strategic approach.
Hunger, and famines among the batwa indigenous remained a highest problem due to lack of land, seeds for planting and lack of agricultural skills .this left the batwa people in the in the oppression life of poverty, eating once or staying without meals for a day or days while our life remained complicated where majority of us do activities of begging, stealing and doing fornication activities to get money to purchase food, clothes, and other necessities. it is their fore clear to me that there is strong need batwa indigenous support of agriculture project, food distribution, distribution of clothes and proper improved housing among the 25 estimated batwa communities That are verified to be staying in the distrists of kisoro kabale and kanungu.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Twa, but the threat is still out there and we expect a healthcare crisis once the virus reaches our communities in Kisoro, Kabale, Kanungu and Rubanda Districts. It could be worse since our living situation and living situation is very bad. But at present most challenging is the hunger. we have been put under the second lockdown which is taking 42day. While each batwa member feed by casual working and begging for food but its very diffult during the lockdown where everyone is forced to remain at home. The government has created a task force group which enforce their directives and they move around touchering whoever moves around. But up to now the government have not put forward any relief support for such vulnerable communities.
It remained a grave shortfall since all the Twa are estimated to number about 6,000 – 7,000 people. Every morning, starving members from Twa communities come to us and cry – asking for food. But we cannot do anything without adequate funding and aid.
It is because we have lost our lands. We once lived and sustained our lives in the forests until the government evicted us for agriculture businesses, logging, development projects, and the creation of conservation areas. Without respect for our rights to ancestral lands, no compensation, no clear relocation plans or designated lands, we are left with no sustainable option to survive.
Thus, we call for immediate acknowledgement of our rights to our ancestral lands, as well as a special and immediate relief program with a special focus on the implementation of healthcare responsive to the needs of the Twa communities including all health work including maternal health, hygiene, nutrition and protection in time of the pandemic.