17 June, 2022
A group photo of participants at the Busongora Community Land Trust’s first Development Conference in Kasese.
Photo: A group photo of participants at the Busongora Community Land Trust’s first Development Conference in Kasese.

Kasese | June 2022 The issue of women’s rights came out prominently at the first ever development conference by the Busongora Kingdom Land Trust convened in Kasese to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Busongora Kingdom, which was held in Kasese with financial and technical support from OHCHR. “Women and girls in parts of the community are not allowed to eat chicken and eggs in the home, as this is reserved for the men and boys of the family, leaving the girls deprived of protein in their diet,” one participant at the conference said.

The conference was convened under the theme “Institution Building for an Equitable & Innovative Future”, to discuss community development and human rights of minorities. The Busongora Kingdom in Kasese district, western Uganda. The Kingdom was restored on 12 May 2012 and spans across to eastern Democratic of Congo. 

His Royal Majesty, King Ndahura II Imara Kashagama of Busongora who presided over the conference, shared the historical background of the Busongora community, including decades of distress due to the destruction of cultural sites by the involuntary resettlement following the development of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. “Some land was given back to the community but there are still issues relating to the administration of the land.” The Busongora Land Trust aims to address the land management issues and creating better conditions for the Basongora community, to preserve the cultural monuments of Busongora, to maintain and protect the culture,” The King said.

The UN Human Rights Office provided financial support to the organisation of the meeting and, as part of its technical support, facilitated an interactive session on the rights of women in the Busongora community, which created a space in which both women and men of the community were able to share thoughts of what rights of women meant in their context. UN Human Rights Office pledged continued collaboration with the community in Kasese, including on issues of land rights and education and will further follow up and engage with the Busongora Community and other relevant stakeholders to bring forth resolutions.

The two-day conference was attended by 88 participants (26 females and 62 males)