Update from BCCP's volunteer Field Operations Manager, Georgia Lorenti
The Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project (BCCP) continues to expand in an urgent effort to alleviate the enormous pressure facing wild chimpanzees and thir habitat throughout Uganda’s Hoima District. The BCCP family has grown exponentially due to the establishment of new EOCA European Outdoor Conservation Association funded tree nurseries this year and the acquisition of additional staff members, including nursery staff, tree planting monitors and chimpanzee monitors. This week we embarked on a development program for all our tree nursery personnel. Employee training is important for workplace safety, productivity and the strengthening of skills. Development programs are equally important to increase staff satisfaction and morale. Investment in training shows employees they are valued and helps create a supportive workplace. Our development program involved an informative presentation from senior Project Manager Moses Ssemahunge and Planting Monitor Lorian Mutegeki. It also included a practical workshop and provided nursery personnel with a platform to offer feedback on project activities. The development program was held at one of our new nursery sites at Kiraira and showcased the outstanding work of Prossy Nyabigambo, BCCP’s first female staff member – she showed those boys!
In Uganda’s Hoima District, 300 chimpanzees (including the Bulindi community) cling to survival in the face of enormous pressure from their human neighbours. Monitoring these chimpanzees is essential for their health and survival.
As well as our long-term monitoring of the Bulindi chimpanzee community, this year we started monitoring two other chimp communities in Hoima and we aim to begin monitoring a fourth community later this year.
As volunteer Field Operations Manager, Georgia says: “Chimpanzee monitoring isn't easy! It requires basic tracking knowledge, a good understanding of chimpanzee behaviour, and a lot of patience. Our chimpanzee monitors are in constant contact with local villagers and often have to act as ambassadors for the chimpanzees as well. At BCCP we believe in strengthening the skills and abilities of field staff through capacity building. Our tiered training program not only provides junior staff with the necessary tools to perform in a complex social and ecological landscape, it also encourages senior monitors to develop strong leadership skills.”
These images show Vincent (who monitors the Wagaisa chimpanzee community) mentoring our newest chimpanzee monitor, Isaac.