Bamboo For Good
Bamboo For Good (B4G) represents innovative partnerships among public and private institutions across East Africa -- working together to mobilize bamboo resources for good. B4G programs focus on and collaboratively address critical social needs in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Uniquely well-positioned and networked, B4G is enlisting bamboo as a valuable catalyst for social empowerment, economic vitality, and environmental health.
In Uganda, B4G is partnering with the Mgahinga Bamboo Conservation Programme (MBCP) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) on education and conservation program initiatives within the Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area (BMCA) and Mghinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP). Located within the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) spanning Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the conservation area is home to more than half of the Mountain Gorillas in the world.
The local human population in/around Kisoro is approximately 331 people per square kilometer, creating high pressure on the park by those seeking resources for their daily livelihoods. The predominant local Arundinaria bamboo is a very important resource for the people that border the MGNP as it has multiple uses (e.g. as building material, craft, agricultural material as stakes for climbing crops and firewood for local source of energy).
To reduce such pressure from the park, the partnership is building capacity within local communities to utilize alternative methods and resources of propagating and managing bamboo growing outside the park, including training on propagation of bamboo outside the MGNP boundaries, to protect the environment and ensure access by the gorillas to their source of food.
Local communities are receiving skill training and capacity building in nursery establishment, propagation techniques, and plantation management of bamboo growing so as to reduce pressure on the fragile park ecosystem while improve relationships between communities and park management, and conserving biodiversity.
Bamboo For Good Projects
To apply bamboo technology towards agriculture programs including bamboo based agricultural tools and implements, bamboo biochar, on-farm structures, fencing, trellises, carts and wagons, etc.
To produce innovative transit designs to address transportation issues to improve rural and urban livelihoods including single person bicycles, cargo solutions and combinations.
To enlist bamboo resources for new innovative healthcare products and technologies, new jobs, and new economic development, like bamboo hand washing stations, toilets, braces, crutches and medical disposables.