Thursday, 01 April 2021
In Uganda, the FSC certified Busoga Forestry Company helps local communities access potable water.
With 25 years of operations in Uganda, Busoga Forestry Company Ltd has a long history of helping communities. In addition to their plantation activities, the company supports community initiatives to improve water access for domestic use in nearby villages.
Access to clean water became even more of a priority after the outbreak of the Covid 19 virus. Frequent hand washing is one of the key barrier gesture to contain the pandemic.
BFC supported the drilling of boreholes and the rehabilitation of existing protected springs. Over 90% of the communities surrounding BFC’s forest plantations depend on natural water sources for their domestic water supply. During last year, the sinking of two boreholes brought access to water for over 3,000 members of the local communities in two villages around BFC plantations in Mayuge and Dokolo Districts.
It also helped reduce the time spent looking for water. Those new boreholes significantly improved overall livelihood as time saved used productively used on other development activities. Water access was difficult in the villages of Okile in Dokolo District of Uganda and Budala and Wamondo in Mayuge District prior to the boreholes. Poor sanitation and unsafe water threatened the health of over 9,000 local residents.
Severe drought in the northern region of Uganda depletes water bodies for livestock and domestic use and the protection of fragile ecosystems such as wetlands and natural forests is key to maintain the water cycles and natural water sources.
Anna Obote, a community member from Okile village, had this to say, in her own words:" This is the first borehole we have had in this village. Before, we had to move to Akori to get water. It is an average of 12 km away. We are so grateful to Green Resources (now BFC) for their work to improve the people's livelihood around the forest. As women, the burden of taking care of the family is on us and the children; gardening, fetching water, cooking, and taking care of the family. We feel a heavy burden has been lifted off us. Firewood and water are now very accessible. We thank Green resources for helping its communities".
FSC certified companies all over Africa have helped their workers and communities around their operations fighting the strain of the pandemic. They are to be praised for that.