Aimed at empowering grassroot communities to identify their major development challenges and collectively advocate and fundraise for solutions to address them, Community based planning and monitoring approach (CBPM) has been launched around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP).
First implemented in Bwindi, CBPM approach according to Henry Mutabaazi, IGCP Uganda Country Coordinator, helped the community in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to understand the socio-economic status of their villages, identify development challenges within the community and guided them to develop concepts/ proposals to address these challenges. Several of these proposals have been marketed and funded allowing for the implementation of key development projects in the community including water and sanitation projects. Additionally, from the trainings Community Based Organizations around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park acquired knowledge and skills in village profiling and proposal development that they are using to fundraise for their organizations.
With the initiative being scaled up around MGNP, IGCP is optimistic that the park edge community bordering MGNP is going to be empowered to champion their own development; identify key development challenges within the community and equally suggest solutions to them as well as fundraise for resources to address the challenges. The Sida funded project “Leading the Change” aims at supporting capacity building for park-edge CBOs and CSOs towards proper and profitable natural resources management with the aim of empowering them to be instruments of their own development.
The approach is going to be scaled up in the nine frontline villages around MGNP. A Village profiling exercise is underway to help obtain household socio-economic data that will be used to identify priority development needs and guide planning to address them.
Commenting on the planned village profiling exercise, David Sebagabo – the Senior Assistant Secretary for Nyarusiza sub-County said that the exercise will greatly assist Local Government to obtain accurate data that depicts the status of the frontline villages and also help in guiding planning for relevant development interventions in the area.