The changing story of Kapeeka

When you meet him in his brown threadbare shirt and sandals that are yet to give way, you may not be able to tell that there is such a powerful story.
At the age of 51, Arii Emily is one of the happiest men you will meet in Kapeeka. His life has had a U-turn of sorts. A former hunter, Ari is one of the outstanding bee keepers registered in the Kapeeka Integrated Community Development Association (KACODA) an initiative that has been running for the last 7 years. His, is an interesting story.

_DSC0022
Sign post of KACODA photo by Ninno Jack

Born to hunting parents in Kapeeka, a community within the Budongo Forest conservation area, Arii did not get a chance of going to school. He took to his parent’s instruction of hunting game in the forest. He was not the only one. A number of people his age were like him. They looked up to the forest for their daily survival. They learnt early in life to set traps and also gather fruits at the same time. They began their day running to the forest and ended it by walking back home with game.
Unknown to them this was directly affecting the game population in Budongo forest. The number of animals was reducing by day.
Ten years ago, Arii’s life had a drastic change when the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) came to work among the communities of Kapeeka. JGI had one mandate; to interest the residents in giving up on relying on forests for their daily survival but rather take on means of generating revenue for themselves.
IMG_9890
Arii Emily tends to his nursery bed

In this community, JGI introduced the bee keeping and nursery bed preparation and tree growing. Arii picked a lot of interest in bee keeping and nursery bed management which is something he has done for the past four years. He is one of the leading tree seedling suppliers in the Kapeeka community. He is a bee keeper with 12 bee hives. There are two bee harvesting seasons in (March- April) and (August- September). Last season, he was able to harvest 30 liters of honey selling off 20. This earned him a profit if 300,000. He sells his honey to the cooperative. This also earns him savings to his account.
Today, he is able to take his three children to school and also meet their medical bills. This has improved his livelihood. On top of that, he is able to sell the seedlings to various farmers.
Arii is one among other stories of people whose life has changed within the area of Kapeeka and  Budongo at large. This has been the work of the Jane Goodall Institute working with the communities in close partnership with the National Forestry Authority.
_DSC0015
Robert Atugonza explains the work  of JGI in Kapeeka. Photo by Ninno Jack

The JGI took it upon itself to restore and conserve the population of chimpanzees that was quickly wearing out. This was to be done mainly by teaching the communities that shared the forest with the primates.
To have this addressed, JGI came up with alternative training to equip the people who wholly depended on the forest for their survival. They started seven years ago and today the story is different.
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *