An investigation into Batwa Housing. A case of Nyarusiza in Kisoro District.
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Throughout history, the Batwa indigenous community survived on forest ecosystems for food, medicine and shelter. Lately in 1991, the forest dwellers were evicted from Virunga forests to give way for the mountain gorilla. Over the last three decades, the Batwa have undergone unprecedented pressure to transition from hunter-gatherer to sedentary lifestyle. This abrupt shift has posed a housing challenge to the Batwa community where housing proposals (currently by NGOs) to Batwa have been rejected and abandoned. It is reported that they are void of cultural knowledge and neglect the indigenous values. This research study investigated the local housing principles, technologies and analysed the significance of different types of houses as built by the indigenous community of the batwa before 1991. Comparisons were drawn to contrast these principles with the current settlement proposals in two areas of Kisoro District. This attempt hopefully results into an understanding of the way forward to the batwa community in the contemporary setting.