We first talked about our planned stove program in Uganda back in May, when we launched a program to place safer more efficient stoves in schools around Bwindi, Uganda. Since then, a lot has happened! The work accomplished so far has included the Maasai, the Batwa and Bakiga people of Uganda, Ivy Gordon and Janet Hanpeter of ECOLIFE and a vibrant team of volunteers from Young Presidents Organization. The next few blogs will represent their stories.
We blogged about “gifts from the tallest to the smallest” – with Maasai stove builders from Tanzania visiting the Batwa (Pygmies). While we are all excited about this major step in the ‘stovification’ of Bwindi, I think it is best expressed in the words of the people, who participated in the last few stove building efforts in Uganda.
- Maasai arriving in Uganda
Kisioki led a small group of Maasai to the forests of Uganda – here is his summary:
We left on 23 and got to Bwindi on 24th. On the 25th afternoon we meet with the visitors at one of the Batwa new primary school and together we walked for few minutes to the one of the homes which have been prepared for the stoves to build.
Then the Women started to work with high collaboration from the visitors. As was a bit hard for me to translate what every Maasai woman wanted to say to the visitors, they started themselves to speak English like level if they wanting the visitors to make the ground to be level, water if they need water, cement if they need cement, no if there is a mistake somewhere etc and the visitor liked that so much.
Apart from the impression from the Maasai Women they also like the stove design. The way the smoke doesn’t go straight to the chimney is amazing. They said is a great design. They did ask many questions and every answer we provided make sense to them. They hard short time working with us but was a lot of joy, excitement and proud with their dirt hands.
With their collaboration every stove took just one hour to be complete.
On 26th we managed to build 2 stoves as we build one by our selves before the visitors and in afternoon we did build a second one with them. As I took four stoves part from Tanzania I left one for Simon to construct it. Every Batwa who come on construction place was telling us that she is praying for the God to enable her to have a stove like her neighbor.
On the side of the Maasai Women, that trip was unusual experience to them especially got a chance to fly, seen another part of the world and also meeting with other people from the other side of the world.
We get back to Tanzania on 28th and I have to drive every Woman to her home because every one was excited to seeing her family again after been away for seven days. No one who ever been away from their families this much.
Great thanks has to go to Rev Komunda and Simon for the high cooperation they provided to us when we was there. Also I am pretty sure that Bill will get good news from visitor’s leaders and we are looking forward to hearing what they will respond regards to what they seen and do there.
Of course, this is an initial step. Next, ECOLIFE will work with our friends in Bwindi to launch a large education program with the ultimate goal of providing safe, fuel-efficient stoves to anyone who needs one in the area of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. An important program for people and mountain gorillas.