Until our recent water project at Bulindi, many local households got water from streams or springs by the forest. At such times they often encountered the chimpanzees. Many local villagers are afraid of the chimps -- especially young children, who are often tasked with fetching water. Sometimes women and children couldn't collect water at all because of the chimps; at other times, groups of children would shout and throw stones at them. Such behavior can provoke aggression from chimps and several children have been hurt as a result. In turn, this reduces local tolerance towards the chimpanzees.
In addition to providing villagers with improved access to clean safe water, the recent construction of 3 village boreholes should substantially reduce these risky encounters between chimps and people, leading to a more positive coexistence! Thank you so much to Wendy Tisdell of BridgIt Water Foundation and Steven Beingana of Suubi Community Projects-Uganda for making the water project happen! Pant hoots!!!