The village of Murole is located on the western border of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the South western corner of Uganda. Perched on several steep slopes, the only way to reach the village is by hiking several hours up a steep and slippery path. While the remote and rugged landscape is breathtaking, it also presents a great challenge to Murole’s community members who survive on a household income of less than $0.10 a day.
Murole is so isolated that it takes nearly 2 hours to complete the difficult 8 km trek each way to the nearest reliable water source, healthcare facility and school. As such, water collection is extremely time consuming and strenuous. Those who choose to collect water from nearer but unprotected streams often contract waterborne diseases such as typhoid. Additionally, villagers with illnesses such as malaria usually choose not to venture to the health clinic until they are seriously ill. Because it is difficult for young children to complete the long journey, they often do not begin attending school until the age of 10. Coupled with the requirement for children to participate in household labour, the village’s illiteracy rate reached approximately 98%.
With no road to bring crops to neighboring villages or markets and with poor agricultural yields, trade was nearly non-existent. Subsistence farming had exhausted soil nutrients, and mountain gorilla raids, climate change and ineffective techniques have also added to villagers’ agricultural struggles. Despite their many challenges, the members of Murole are incredibly passionate and committed to the projects which will secure the wellbeing of their future generations.