Who Are The Batwa
The Batwa (also known as Twa) are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Great Lakes of Central Africa. The equatorial forests were their homelands, providing them with sustenance, medicine, and sacred sites and rituals. Over the course of several decades, the Batwa were gradually evicted from their traditional lands because of deforestation and conservation in the name of development.
The remaining forest dwelling Batwa Volcano National Park, Gishwati Forest, and Nyungwe National Park were expelled from their lands as recently as 1994 without consultation, compensation, or adequate remuneration.
Today, with an estimated population of 25,000 to 30,000 people, Batwa face unique challenges related to socio – economic deprivation, high unemployment and underemployment.