Ruboni Community Conservation and Development Program (RCCDP) is a community owned and run initiative that encourages local community participation in environment conservation to improve livelihood of her members and the entire community. RCCDP started in 1998 and has evolved until it became None Government Organization (NGO) in 2015. The establishment of RCCDP was initiated as a result of the community need to address the crisis of population pressure, scarcity of natural resources and excessive poverty on the Rwenzori foothills leading to natural resource conflicts between the community and Rwenzori mountains national park. RCCDP targets the local people of the Rwenzori foothills in Bugoye and Maliba sub counties.
RCCDP partners with various persons and organizations that support her conservation and development efforts. Besides the contributions from the partners, RCCDP generates her own income from community tourism enterprises run at the Ibanda gate of Rwenzori mountains national park. These enterprises include;
- Ruboni community camp – a tourist accommodation facility,
- community guided walks including the forest walk, hill climb walk and the village walk
- Mahoma trail trek in the Rwenzori Mountains.
The day to day conservation and development works of RCCDP involves implementing forest conservation, soil and water conservation, agro-forestry and re afforestation to reforest the degraded hills and plains. Indigenous forest conservation is also done through preserving forest land bordering the park to encourage natural forest regeneration in the buffer zone, raising and distributing seedlings of indigenous trees to the farmers. RCCDP under the Ruboni community Child sponsorship project also offers scholarships to school going young people to enable them achieve their education. We believe that educating the young generation, is one way that can divert the local dependence on land when they seek office jobs or get involved in other innovative alternative livelihoods.
Community economic and skills empowerment is the core goal of RCCDP. The community development projects being implemented by RCCDP include; skills training, sustainable agriculture, marketing the local produce to tourists, credit and saving scheme, contributing to infrastructural development. As a result of RCCDP work, the community has increasingly appreciated the existence of the park and are getting involved in sustainable tourism investment within the community at the gateway, resulting into;
- Increased household income,
- Increased forest and tree cover on the community and household lands
- Increased agro production on the household farms
- Markets for the local produce like crafts and fresh food sold to tourists and tourism businesses.
- Increased enrolment of the local children in schools.
- Employment of the local people especially youth and women during the sale of products and services to the tourism market.
Please read more about RCCDP projects here