The Community Education Programme (CEP) works in Bumba in Western Rwanda. The village is balanced on hills above Lake Kivu with a high population density farming every available piece of land. The Programme was set up after the 1994 genocide to help rebuild people’s lives. Projects include a bakery, a kindergarten, a guest house, meeting rooms and the latest is to introduce bee keeping and train local people. CEP managed to obtain 70 top bar hives from an embassy and Bees Abroad were asked to provide the training. The bee keeping project has been extended to Ngororere, not far from Bumba over the hills but a 5 hour bus ride around the valleys. A further 70 hives were obtained from another embassy.
Bee keeping is well established using cylindrical hives made from local materials. Most of the beekeepers are elderly men, CEP wishes to train women and young people. Honey yields have dropped by over 50% in recent years, initially due to deforestation and more recently due to the spraying of insecticides to combat pests on maize and tomatoes.
Bees Abroad activities
Bees Abroad is helping train people at various levels. This includes the CEP managers, local community groups who have been given some of the top bar hives and is also experienced bee keepers who are concerned about the insecticides and who also would like to use top bar hives. Bees Abroad is also supplying bee keeping veils and gloves to all these groups. The veils are made at the Umutara Deaf school project in Eastern Rwanda.
Into the future
The training apiary in Bumba with cylindrical hives and top bar hives will be used as a community resource to develop the bee keeping knowledge of local bee keepers and offer training to new beekeepers.
When trained these beekeepers will be given some of the donated top bar hives and in exchange will donate some of their honey yield to the CEP who will use the proceeds in their education programmes.
- Location – Bumba and Ngororore, Western Province, Rwanda
- Population – 325,000 in Rutsiro District
- Local NGO – Community Education Project
- Project managers – Dawn Williamson and Paul Bloch firstname.lastname@example.org