Cleaning Nkuringo Buffer Zone to Enhance Mountain Gorilla Protection

Blog | 8/06/22

Over 20 sacks of waste materials including empty spray bottles, plastics and 33 exotic plants were collected from the Nkuringo Buffer Zone around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP). The waste materials were collected during an intensive 8-day cleaning exercise aimed at removing harmful litter left behind by humans. The 12km buffer zone was established in 2000 by IGCP and Uganda Wildlife Authority, as a problem animal management measure.

The Buffer zone is occupied by tea plantations cultivated by the community.
According to Henry Mutabaazi, IGCP Uganda Country Coordinator, tea
farming activities like weeding, spraying, pruning, picking, and transportation often leave behind a lot of litter in the zone, endangering the health of the wildlife and humans who access the buffer zone daily. Routine cleaning is necessary to ensure the safety of the mountain gorillas and other wildlife who range here and the farmers as well.

“The buffer zone is a bridge between the park and the community. It accommodates problem animals that often escape from the park limiting them from destroying park adjacent food crop gardens. Cleaning the buffer zone protects the health of both animals and people,” says Dickson Katana, Warden in Charge Southern Sector Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Over 30 community members including Porters’ Associations and farmers from the adjacent villages participated in the cleaning exercise earning a daily wage of UGX 15000 ($ 4.9). The cleaning was preceded by a training on the cleaning procedure during which the importance of the exercise and
conservation in general were highlighted. This action was made possible by IGCP with support from WWF-UK.

The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) currently consists of Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International and the World Wide Fund for Nature. We recognise that the earth's survival is dependent on humanity's ability to maintain a healthy and balanced environment that includes all species of wildlife.