Category Archives: Bwindi

Gorillas, People and WildlifeDirect

January this year on one of our visits to Uganda we had the privilege of meeting one of Africa’s leading conservationists. Gladys Kalema Zikusoka, recently the winner of the prestigious Whitley Fund for Nature awards. Her organisation Conservation Through Public Health is one of WildlifeDirects new Albertine Rift Project blogs.

CTPH and WildlifeDirect in Uganda

The team and I were immediately captivated by CTPH and decided they would make a phenomenol blog advocating gorilla conservation. On our return to Nairobi we started making preparations for the followup visit conducting a blogging training workshop in Uganda and Rwanda.

Organised with the help of CTPH a 10 hour journey from Kampala, we held a workshop in Buhoma for the benefit of the community members adjacent to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. An IT centre had already been established by CTPH, run on the ground by David Matsiko. The centre has trained over 150 community members to use computers and navigate their way around the Internet.  This provided an excellent opportunity to train members in the art of blogging and share their experiences and thoughts through a twin blog to the CTPH one Gladys updates. A blog that would be all about the community and the role in gorilla conservation through CTPH.

Our workshop and lodgings were at the CTPH campsite close to the national park.

WildlifeDirect Training in Buhoma

Alex Ngabirano gave us a tour of the lab where all the samples collected from the field  gorilla fecal samples) by Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers were stored and analysed. After traveling to Uganda and Rwanda Twice now working with organisations doing gorilla conservation and still not having seen one myself I was just as happy to be staring into one of the specimens containing a gorillas lunch from a week ago.

Alex at the CTPH lab.

Alex explained how CTPH began it’s work looking into the incidences of disease outbreak in gorillas and comparing it to that of the human population in communities nearby.  It is described in more detail in the introductary post on the CTPH blog.

For more on CTPH keep your eyes on their blog.

Published by Masumi.