PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES

  • Identifying and profiting indigenous communities
  • Identifying critical issues affecting different indigenous communities
  • Linking under represented indigenous communities to the main stream development agenda of the country.
  • Promoting traditional income activities of indigenous communities
  • Facilitating indigenous communities to safeguard their endangered cultural heritage.
  • Networking and linking local indigenous people and issues to international Indigenous Peoples’ movement.
  • Advocating for the human rights of indigenous people.

BASONGORA INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF KASESE DISTRICT WESTERN UGANDA.

The Consent Declaration of Basongora indigenous community to work with ENGABU ZA TOORO – Tooro Youth Platform for Action

Link: View Consent Declaration

BACKGROUND OF BASONGORA INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY

Historically, the Basongora community in western Uganda faced natural disasters and social injustices which over the years have reduced the number of community members to near extinction. The rinder pest epidemic of 1920’s exterminated their cattle which is the sole means of livelihood and existence. Although there are scientific evidence of rinderpest outbreak, community members believe that their cattle was deliberately killed by colonial administrators, to force the community to adopt modern education and commercial cultivation.

After the death of cattle and around 1940’s and 50’s the government turned their ancestral grazing lands into National Park (Queen Elizabeth National Park) and cotton growing farms.

As a result of these upheavals, many members of the community died, others got assimilated into the neighboring culturally related communities especially Batooro, Banyoro and Banyankole. A resistant group of about 4,000 people have since remained and were rendered landless wonderers in their own ancestral territory. They assert their identify and insist on attaining development on their own terms. They practice communal grazing, with nomadic tendencies at times fluking into gazzetted areas which were initially their ancestral grazing lands and spiritual sites. They speak their language, eat own traditional food and amuse themselves with their own folk expression.

In the recent years, this group suffer chronic and, violent attacks from tribal militia of an advancing majority tribe of Bakonzo cultivators who want to displace them further from even the few for communal settlements, government has created for them. The Bakonzo cultivators have even established a king based on Kikonzo traditions and imposed this Kingshipon this on pastoralist Basongora group, denying them a right to establish their own and confiscating and destroying their spiritual symbols in day broad light.

The chronic attacks, which government has virtually failed to control, take the form of brutal and callous killing of cattle and helpless women and children.

According to the community members, the government proposed to a settle them to alternative area the country but they refused, insisting that they would rather perish in their own ancestral territory.

brutalized woman

This woman brutally killed is one of the ten victims of the tribe violent attack on the Basongora community on 5th July 2014 by suspected militia from the majority Bakonzo community in conflict over land and cultural domination in the area.Government forces repulsed the attackers, killing over 70 on spot and arresting and charging over 200 in court marshal.

The profile of Basongora indigenous community against the provision of UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. 

Link: Profile of Basongora indigenous community

Promoting the handcraft of Basongora indigenous community through training, networking and improving market accessibility.

handcrafts

handcrafts1

Nominating Intangible Culture Heritage of Basongora indigenous community- Koogere Oral Tradition

Link:   Kogeere Oral tradition of the Batooro people of western Uganda

Promoting the underrepresented folk experience of Basongora indigenous community to national  international stage.