MCDO applies an integrated approach to community development by advancing environmental conservation, education, ecotourism development, rural livelihoods, and sustainable agricultural initiatives for the communities living close to Mgahinga and Bwindi Gorilla National Parks in Kisoro district, southwestern Uganda.
Mgahinga Community Development Organization Founding Story
The history and background of Mgahinga Community Development Organization.
The initiative to create MCDO came in 2003 from a few dedicated members of an existing community-based organization, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp. At the time there were several community initiatives focused on specific development issues working completely independently of each other within Gisozi parish. MCDO was created to bring these initiatives together and to help educate, facilitate and coordinate these member projects so that we can all achieve more together.
The construction of an ecology community centre (Mutanda Eco Community Centre), initiatives in sustainable agriculture, building development and provision of safe drinking water to schools and nurseries and the formation of an eco-tourism venture are just a few of the projects currently in progress.
With the development of these and other projects, MCDO strives to: significantly improve literacy rates and educational standards throughout the community; equip school and nursery children with clothing, school supplies and safe drinking water; ensure sustainable and environmentally sound agricultural practices are employed; provide a focus and meeting point for community groups and the opportunity to participate in safe activities in and around Lake Mutanda; ensure the conservation of this beautiful environment and realise revenue through eco-tourism.
In addition to the mountain gorilla and golden monkey in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Mgahinga hosts a unique variety of animal and plant species. Kites, ibis, kingfishers and the grey crowned crane, Uganda’s national bird are all frequently sighted residents.
Alongside the shore of the Lake Mutanda intricately created weave birds nests can be spotted amongst the reeds. In addition to a vast array of avian species that make Lake Mutanda a bird-watchers paradise, there are several species of snake, chameleon and monitor lizard, frogs and a wealth of insects. The lake also supports mammals including the African clawless otter.
Although numbers are yet unknown, the Otters have been spotted at several sites along the lakes shores and wetlands. Hippopotamus were last recorded at the lake in 1994 and while they can no longer be considered to be part of Mgahinga’s inhabitants, are known to exist in the local area.