Reportage aus dem Ostkongo
I am very glad to be back from Idjwi. I spent about four days there from Saturday. I just came today. I wish to share with you my experience on Idjwi.
Idjwi island is a large farming land sized with 3.200 km² and populated by about 200.000 inhabitants. It is the lonely secured territory from the conflictual context of the South Kivu.
In the moment the Nyamusisi forest which covered about the half of the island has been removed.
do believe that Eucalyptus is the right tree to grow for business
and for reforestation - and therefore Idjwi looks like a sanctuary
of Eucalyptus plantations with strong impact on the agriculture and
the lake. Where is the forest manager? Where are the environmental
educators? People are lost in business and small-scale farming
including the fishery without sustainable plans at community
levels. During the rainy season, sand soils are bown from mountain
region to the shore of the lake through rivers.
About 200-300 hundred people work from 4:00 AM to 6:00 PM for collecting the sand from river beds to the shores and then they have to charge into boats for marketing in Bukavu. The salary is 70 -80 dollars per month. How far people should survive from this "slavery work" bound through a poor and killing salary?
Now Nyamusisi forest has disapeared. The deforested land has been shared for agricultural purposes - People in fact are healthy - there is enough food for all from the lake (fishes) and from the ground (beans, vegetables,..)! But what should happen in fourthcoming years if the land losses its fertility due to erosion? We can look to neighbouring areas (small islands which are completely deserted)!
From my experience, it is clear that in Idjwi we need to work at territory levels, combining education and reforestation. Idjwi people need to get/share experience from others. They need being taught about environmental governance. They need to involeve into international partnership - I can say too: “SOS Idjwi”.Our reforestation plan must be turned into forest management and education for preventing general hunger and poverty for the whole people on the island. In this area as it is in Bukavu, private sector is growing quickly
The rest of the forest are still seen...
My idea is also to develop a small museum for keeping the local knowledge. Some infrastructures for hosting seminars are available. Look for example the hotel is called "Maison Blanche"