Who Are The Batwa
The Batwa (Twa) are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Great Lakes of Central Africa(Lewis 2006). The equatorial forests were their homelands, providing them with sustenance, medicine and sacred sites and rituals. Over the course of several decades, the Twa were gradually evicted from their traditional lands owing to deforestation and conservation in the name of development.
The remaining forest dwelling Twa 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, the Twa face unique challenges related to socio – economic deprivation, high unemployment and underemployment.